Critical Literacy: Context, Research, and Practice in the K-12 Classroom
Publication Year: 2007
“This is an excellent text. I particularly liked how the authors share examples of critical literacy throughout the book, especially with digital and multimedia texts.”—Cheryl A. Kreutter, St. John Fisher College…a unique, practical critical literacy text with concrete examples and theoretical tools for pre- and in-service teachersAuthors Lisa Patel Stevens and Thomas W. Bean explore the historical and political foundations of critical literacy and present a comprehensive examination of its uses for K-12 classroom practice.Key Features:· Focuses on the nexus of critical literacy theory and practice through real classroom examples, vignettes, and conversations among teachers and teacher educators · Illustrates how critical literacy practices are enacted in the classroom at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. · Offers step-by-step teaching strategies for implementing critical ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Redefining Literacy
- Genealogy of the Critical: Paulo Freire
- Defining Critical Literacy
- Mrs. Cutter's Class
- Problematizing Classroom Applications of Critical Literacy
- Chapter 2: Why We Need Critical Literacy: Dynamic Texts and Identity Formation
- Literacy Proficiency and New Texts: A Moving Target
- Texts, Attention, and Identity?
- The Transformation of Texts and Readers' Attention
- Texts as Tools of Identity Formation
- Texts: Mediating Identity and Culture
- Chapter 3: Critical Literacy and Teacher Education
- Teacher Identity
- Risk, the Future, and Critical Literacy
- Disrupting Education Discourses with Critical Literacy
- Critical Media Literacy and Teacher Education
- Resident Critic
- Chapter 4: Critical Literacy at the Nexus of Praxis
- Maintaining Critical Literacy as a Moving Target
- Essential Features of Critical Literacy
- Chapter 5: Praxis Point 1: Popular Culture, Fandom, and Boundaries
- Snapshot 1: Critical Media Literacy and Social Studies
- Reflection: Practice Informing Theory
- Chapter 6: Praxis Point 2: Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum
- Snapshot 2: Critical Literacy Across the Curriculum
- Reflection: Practice Informing Theory
- Critical Literacy and the Institutional Context
- Chapter 7: Praxis Point 3: Cycles of Deconstruction and Reconstruction
- Setting the Context and Participants
- Reflection: Practice Informing Theory
- Assessing Critical Literacy
- Reflections on Critical Literacy as Praxis
- Chapter 8: Critical Literacy and Educational Policy Texts
- What is Policy?
- Critical Policy Analysis
- National Discourses
- Moving from National to Local: Complex Connections
- Chapter 9: Critical Policy Analysis in Local Contexts
- Policy and Governmentality
- Local Conversations
- Transforming Policy Interactions
- Educational Policy and Complexity Theory
In gratitude to my mother, my first and best teacher, the one who taught me so much by example: how to love, how to pursue my happiness, and how to trust my sense of myself.—Lisa
I wish to acknowledge my partner and colleague, Dr. Helen J. Harper, who makes every day a new adventure with boundless possibilities. In addition, I want to extend appreciation to my past, present, and future doctoral students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who, by continually striving to discover new directions in literacy research, move my thinking forward as well.—Tom
Copyright © 2007 by Sage Publications, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Patel Stevens, Lisa.
Critical literacy : context, research, and practice in the K-12
classroom / Lisa P. Stevens, Thomas W. Bean.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4129-4117-4 (cloth)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4129-4118-1 (pbk.)
1. Critical pedagogy—United States. 2. Literacy—Social aspects—United States. I. Bean, Thomas W. II. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
07 08 09 10 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquiring Editor: Diane McDaniel
Editorial Assistant: Erica Carroll
Project Editor: Astrid Virding
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Proofreader: Kevin Gleason
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Cover Designer: Michelle Kenny
Critical literacy is concerned with critiquing relationships among language use, social practice, and power. It is an analytic process that is mediated by one's worldview or theory and that closely examines the ways in which language practices carve up the world according to certain socially valued criteria (and not other sets of criteria). It draws attention to inequities and calls for a rethinking of ideas and social assumptions considered “natural” or unassailable. Historically speaking, critical literacy has its roots reaching deep into critical theory, philosophy, linguistics, and discourse studies. Within English-speaking countries, the translation and publication of Paulo Friere's work to English in the 1970s, along with his collaborations with Donaldo Macedo and Ira Shor, mark a watershed in the development of critical literacy as a distinct theoretical and pedagogical field. This work focused educators' attention on the importance of identifying authentic social problems and ways of addressing these problems through language and action. In the second half of the 1980s, Gunther Kress and Robert Hodges's work in critical discourse analysis was also to prove highly influential in the development of critical literacy.
The term critical literacy itself, however, is a relatively recent development. Used in the 1980s by people like Ira Shor and Joe Kretovics, its first appearance as a book title came only in 1993 with the publication of Colin Lankshear and Peter McLaren's edited collection, Critical Literacy: Politics, Praxis and the Postmodern (published by the State University of New York Press). This collection drew attention to the multiplicity of ways of being literate and the complex ways in which literacy is tied to and shaped by power. Lankshear and McLaren's volume drew together a diverse group of scholars across a range of fields and disciplines (e.g., feminist theory, sociolinguistics, philosophy, ethnography) and underscored the extent to which critical literacy is not a unitary, neatly bounded approach to literacy practice and pedagogy.[Page viii]
During the mid- to late 1990s, critical literacy gained momentum and took on the characteristics of an education movement, especially in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and England. Within these countries, critical literacy proved influential at a range of institutional levels, spanning theoretical development work, teacher education, state and national policies, national funding initiatives, regional professional development initiatives, and classroom practice. Despite the various (per)mutations critical literacy underwent as it was absorbed into education and, in many cases, institutionalized in the form of syllabus directives and professional development “kits” and programs, one thing remained in common: the assumption that teaching students how to recognize the ways in which language “operates” in relation to social practices, social groups, and power can make a positive difference in their lives. This assumption goes hand in hand with the recognition that language practices can also constrain and limit students' life chances. Pam Gilbert, a key scholar in the development of critical literacy practices within teacher education and classrooms, argues that the two-sided nature of literacy—its potential to help transform inequities and its ability to reinscribe inequities—is a key component of critical literacy. All too often, however, this duality is not given sufficient attention in the critical literacy literature, where the limiting effects that literacy can have in the school lives of some students seems often to be taken as a given rather than as a place from which to begin analysis and critique.
Lisa Patel Stevens and Tom Bean provide us with a book that insists on contextualizing their discussion of critical literacy within carefully described settings and transcribed exchanges in order to show how potentially limiting ways of reading, writing, and being can be made over into rich learning experiences and spaces for action by means of critical literacy understandings. For example, their opening chapter includes a detailed account of how dominant school (and social) discourses ensure that a Grade 5 science textbook becomes an abstract collection of “facts” to be “learned” by students. These facts have been excised neatly and effectively from the usually messy ethical, sustainable development, ownership, producer-consumer relationships and debates associated with natural resource use and management in real life. The authors explain how one teacher refused to be limited by the schooled nature of the science textbook she was assigned to use in her class. Instead, she structured her teaching so as to use current news events concerning resource shortages to launch her students' critique of the (lack of real) information contained in their textbook and to investigate and write up missing information about phenomena like electricity as a market commodity rather than a natural force.
Stevens and Bean use an extensive array of examples throughout their book to “show” what critical literacy is, rather than aiming to provide a single, fixed [Page ix]definition. This substantive approach means they are able to capture the ways in which language practices both shape and are shaped by the worldviews of different social groups and how, all too often, the discourse practices of dominant social groups dictate what can and cannot be “said” or even “seen.” The authors argue that critical literacy knowledge and strategies become increasingly important as new forms of literacy practice emerge in association with technological and communication developments occurring in “New Times.” Critical literacy has in many ways become textbound. Teachers tend to focus on analyzing and critiquing conventionally printed texts and, to a much lesser degree, film or video texts. As the authors rightly argue, within so-called developed countries this text-centric view of critical literacy is fast reaching its use-by date. Stevens and Bean call for a broadening of critical literacy practices within education to take account of “new literacy” developments such as the increasing significance of attention economies, multimodal resources for information and communication purposes, and the increasing mobility and shrinkage of communication and information devices. They argue that critical literacy practitioners can no longer afford to think only locally but need to pay attention to the social, cultural, and economic effects of globalization on language use, opportunity, and power.
Part of this context is the increased accountability being placed on teachers within the United States (and elsewhere) to ensure their students (a) are able to “read” by the end of Grade 3, (b) meet state-level standards, and (c) “pass” a range of standardized tests. Stevens and Bean remind us of how policy-mandated reading practices and pronouncements present a particular version of what it means to “be a reader” and what it means to read well at school, and how these versions can actually work to limit students' options for academic success. The authors describe how a contextualized conception of reading acts as a valuable counterfoil to policy and curriculum packages that insist on defining “literacy” as the ability to merely encode and decode print. Equally important, Stevens and Bean also rail against the ongoing deprofessionalization of teachers by means of one-size-fits-all “scripted” literacy curricula and by the reduction of “successful” teaching to high student “pass” rates on standardized tests. Their book models for teachers and teacher educators ways both of teaching critical literacy insights and strategies to students and of practicing critical literacy themselves, such that they can find productive gaps and spaces within dumbed-down literacy teaching packages where they can adopt contextualized approaches to literacy education and act as agents of beneficial change. The authors provide concrete examples that go to the heart of teachers' everyday working lives. These include accounts of teachers actively researching, analyzing, and critiquing a proposed new literacy curriculum package for their school [Page x]and of teachers using critical literacy strategies to challenge new federal literacy policies and the larger discourses that shape these policies and that, in turn, are sustained by them. This insistence that teachers (and teacher educators) can and should both teach critical literacy and practice it serves as wise counsel and as a touchstone of hope within New Times—where the “new” doesn't necessarily mean “improved” or “better” times for everyone.
This brief scenario offers a glimpse at the process of critiquing various forms of text, in this case, a computer review published in a magazine for laptop users, particularly users traveling a great deal on business. At a more advanced level, students need to be able to apply critical literacy to a host of texts spanning not just advertisements but also textbooks, media, newscasts, political treatises, historical accounts, scientific accounts, and the increasing array of international and global items that are featured in the news.
You may be wondering why we decided to write a book on critical literacy amid a political climate where high-stakes testing may result in decisions that create curriculum far too narrow in scope for the development of informed citizens. We both bring experiences to this project based on our work with teachers in classrooms where we have seen the results of equipping students with [Page xii]the tools to critique a wide range of discourse, including films, novels, texts, advertisements, songs, and other forms of text. We also spend considerable time staying abreast of futuristic thinking about education in a global geopolitical context that will, in our estimation, require citizens able to discern how they are being positioned, and at times manipulated by the media and the Internet, as well as more traditional texts. This combination of classroom experience and theoretical grounding provides the foundation for our work in critical literacy and the ideas and practices we recommend throughout the book. Moreover, any nostalgic view of literacy based on traditional texts is, in our view, myopic. Students are bombarded by a huge range of text forms and new literacies. These new literacies include “performative, visual, aural, and semiotic elements in print and non-print texts” (Alvermann, 2002, p. viii). Semiotics refers to sign systems, including fonts, diagrams, symbols, and other elements of discourse, that may be perceived and interpreted in various ways by a reader or viewer (Van Leeuwen, 2005). New literacies classrooms are generally characterized by students engaged in daily work in multiple forms of representation, including multimedia PowerPoints, WebQuests, i-movies, and so on (Kist, 2005). In addition, the teacher and students conduct explicit discussions of why certain symbol systems socially construct meaning in particular ways. Collaboration, critique, and a high degree of engagement where time passes fluidly typify these classrooms (Kist, 2005). In this new literacies environment, we believe that equipping students with the tools for engaging in critical literacy is becoming a necessity for leading an informed life in our global world.A Rationale for Critical Literacy
The next time you go to a car dealership with a showroom where you might be waiting to get your car serviced, have a look at the brochures advertising various models. These ads invite the reader to envision what it might be like to own a particular model of car. In essence, they position the reader in particular ways in terms of gender, age, and class. In fact, these sorts of advertisements offer a form of discourse that helps us grasp some of the elements of critical literacy. Consider the following excerpt from a brochure featuring the latest version of the popular Mazda Miata sports car (Mazda North American Operations, 2004):[Page xiii]
The Mazda MX-5 Miata's cockpit is designed to facilitate a single function. The unobstructed communication between man and machine. To that end, its leather-wrapped steering wheel awaits your input.(p. 9)
In the process of deconstructing and critiquing this ad, it is immediately apparent that the reader has been socially constructed as a male persona interested in a very visceral connection to the highway, and this sports car offers that experience. The car is clearly not for hauling the soccer team to its Saturday game or car-topping a windsurfer to the lake. Nevertheless, many women drive Mazda Miatas, and their popularity is certainly not limited to male drivers interested in wrenching the car into a four-wheel drift through a city street. Thus, we can, using the tools of critical literacy, deconstruct and critique many forms of discourse, including ads, films, novels, music lyrics, and more traditional texts. But it is important to note that there are times when a film or novel, or a sports car, for that matter, should just be experienced and enjoyed. With that caveat in mind, we do believe that critical literacy offers a powerful means for students to become more aware of how multiple texts are constructed and how they influence our thinking. But why, as we said earlier, does this matter if all students need to do to succeed in life is pass low-level tests that simply do not require critical literacy?Globalization and Informed Decision Making
The world landscape is, in the view of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (2005), becoming flat through the interconnectedness of global communications. “We are entering a phase where we are going to see the digitization, virtualization, and automation of almost everything” (p. 45). For example, Wikipedia, the peoples' encyclopedia, now outpaces former print-based encyclopedias in use with a totally open system of comment and critique. But that feature assumes, or at least necessitates, a citizenry well educated and critical enough to offer insightful and accurate critique. The dark side of the Internet requires global citizens who are able to see how they are being positioned by multiple texts offered in this fluid and pervasive medium. Friedman notes:
The Internet is an enormously useful tool for the dissemination of propaganda, conspiracy theories, and plain old untruths, because it combines a huge reach with a patina of technology that makes anything on the Internet somehow more believable.(p. 432)
We do not want to imply that it is just the Internet that presents discourse worth examining through a critical literacy lens. All forms of discourse can be scrutinized through critical literacy if students have the metalanguage and analytical tools needed to accomplish such an analysis. For example, Nel [Page xiv]Noddings (2005) visited classrooms where young students were researching where their toys were constructed and the degree to which child labor was involved. Noddings argued that “[e]very citizen should acquire an understanding of propaganda and its power to influence opinion” (p. 130).Metalangauge and the Tools of Critical Literacy
In any discipline or activity, including sports, music, and so on, insiders know the metalanguage commonly used to discuss elements of the relevant activity. For example, surfers have a well-honed array of words to characterize wave conditions: glassy, choppy, gnarly, closed out. The technical vocabulary associated with critical literacy has its own “insiders'” jargon or metalanguage. Critical literacy has its own metalanguage that assists students in deconstructing the hidden messages or underlying agendas and power differentials in any discourse. In order to help you and your students become insiders in critical literacy, we will list just a few of the key terms that we use throughout the book. But first, it's important to specify what we mean by critical literacy.
Critical literacy: Critical literacy views text meaning-making as a process of social construction with a particularly critical eye toward elements of the various historical, social, and political contexts that permeate and foreground any discourse. In order to further refine this definition, we need to look at what discourse is being critiqued and how one assumes a critical literacy stance.
Discourse: Any text, film, song, poem, or advertisement (and other discourse forms) is never neutral. That is, discourse always has an underlying agenda, and any discourse can be examined and deconstructed to determine who has a voice in the discourse, who is silenced by it or marginalized, and how these gaps and silences can be transformed.
Positioning: Authors, filmmakers, song writers, ad writers, and so on produce discourse that positions the reader in various ways. For example, reality television places the viewer in a voyeuristic position, looking in on the foibles of various actors. Self-help books with the now familiar but derogatory title Sailing (Computing, Poker Playing, etc.) for Dummies targets the neophyte in any activity. These books have been around for some time, but most of us are reluctant to be seen at the bookstore counter waving our Cooking (or whatever) for Dummies books around. These books position us as outsiders in an activity.
Texts as cultural tools: When we see ourselves represented in the texts we read, this recognition impacts our identity. Texts can establish belonging or alienation. In essence, texts are sites where some groups are included and others [Page xv]excluded. Thus, we can ask of any text: Who is represented? Who is excluded? Who has power? Who is denied power?
Texts as sites for multiple interpretations: The now widely cited example of varying interpretations of Columbus and the “discovery” of America is a good example of how social class, gender, and ethnicity influence our reading and interpretation of texts. On the one hand, the European American celebration of this discovery is a common interpretation, but it has been challenged in post-colonial discourse from a Native American or First Nations perspective. Thus, critical literacy offers a means to compare and contrast varying interpretations of any discourse.
Critical media literacy: Critical media literacy refers to the application of the deconstructive elements of critical literacy to media texts (e.g., songs, ads, billboards, brochures for products) often encountered outside the classroom. Indeed, popular culture is a pervasive part of students' lives and offers engaging sites for the application of critical literacy practices.
Critical policy analysis: This critical literacy stance recognizes that policies (e.g., No Child Left Behind) are ideological in nature, contextualized in terms of political, historical, and economic dimensions, and subject to analysis, critique, and deconstruction.
While you will encounter other key terms in each chapter, we wanted to foreshadow a few of the concepts and metalanguage underpinning critical literacy. Indeed, these elements differentiate critical literacy from older notions of critical reading aimed at helping students distinguish fact from opinion. We also want to caution that critical literacy is more complex than critical reading and not susceptible to simple procedural descriptions. Critical literacy calls for a habit of mind predisposed to look at discourse and ask: Who has their views represented? Who is privileged in a particular discourse? Who is left out? What social, political, economic, gender, and ethnicity aspects are at play in various forms of discourse? In essence, critical literacy calls for a predisposition to deconstruct and critique all forms of discourse. However, we want to offer one additional caution, and that is, sometimes it's just fine to simply enjoy a poem, song, novel, film, enticing ad, or art of all kinds. Not everything should be deconstructed, and students have their own spaces where they simply need to enjoy the aesthetics of an engaging song, ad, or film.
Throughout the book, we have offered concrete examples of classrooms where critical literacy is an integral part of teachers' repertoires along with more traditional curriculum elements. Toward that end, we have constructed the book in such a way that you can start incorporating critical literacy practices in your classroom at a pace that is right for you and your students. In the section that follows, we highlight the organization of the book and special features we think you will find helpful.[Page xvi]Organization of the Book
We have organized the book into eight chapters. The first three chapters offer foundational information about critical literacy theory along with some classroom examples. Chapter 1, “Redefining Literacy,” charts the historical trends in literacy pedagogy and the current heightened need for critical literacy. This chapter also differentiates older forms of critical reading from critical literacy. Chapter 2, “Why We Need Critical Literacy: Dynamic Texts and Identity Formation,” situates critical literacy within the broad-based international work on multiliteracies and digital literacies. In Chapter 3, “Critical Literacy and Teacher Education,” we consider various aspects of critical literacy within the broader framework of teacher identity and critical media literacy. In addition, we introduce a strategy for critical literacy we call Resident Critic.
Chapters 4 through 7 emphasize issues of practice with classroom examples at various grade levels. Chapter 4, “Critical Literacy at the Nexus of Praxis,” introduces key metalinguistic tools of critical literacy and application of these tools through classroom examples. Chapter 5, “Praxis Point 1: Popular Culture, Fandom, and Boundaries,” explores the delicate balance involved in including students' out-of-school popular culture interests in the curriculum while respecting their space to engage divergent texts. A classroom scenario helps illustrate some of the issues that need to be addressed when teachers elect to use popular culture materials in the classroom. Chapter 6, “Praxis Point 2: Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum,” offers a classroom example and discussion of how to handle the tensions that exist between project-based learning and critical literacy in a political climate that often mandates lower-level thinking skills. Chapter 7, “Praxis Point 3: Cycles of Deconstruction and Reconstruction,” continues the process of illustrating the role of critical literacy in expanding students' grasp of subjectivity and critical literacy in a high school context.
Chapter 8, “Critical Literacy and Educational Policy Texts,” provides a primer on critical policy analysis and a close look at the ways in which policy intersects with classroom life for teachers and students. Indeed, the vitality of a curriculum that embraces critical literacy as one cornerstone of students' literacy development is highly dependent upon teachers who can articulate their vision and fend off calls for lowering expectations for students. Chapter 9, “Critical Policy Analysis in Local Contexts,” uses the critical policy analysis work from Chapter 8 and examines how policies can be critiqued in specific contexts. The chapter includes a discussion of Foucault's ideas about governmentality to explore how various teachers respond to educational policy, with implications about how to engage in this work in local contexts.[Page xvii]Special Features of the Book
We have included various special features that will make your journey into the seemingly complex world of critical literacy much more accessible than you might imagine. For example, each chapter begins with a brief scenario that sets the stage for the concepts to be introduced. These scenarios encapsulate key elements of critical literacy treated in more detail as a chapter unfolds. Throughout the book, classroom examples are included, based on our experiences with teachers engaging students in critical literacy in various elementary, middle school, and high school settings. Specific teaching strategies for critical literacy are included toward the end of each chapter. These strategies can be integrated into your classroom at a pace that allows for experimentation within your existing curriculum. In each chapter we offer a section titled Key Terms, where definitions of the vocabulary commonly associated with critical literacy are listed in bold-faced print and briefly defined. These terms are used throughout many of the recommended readings listed in this introduction and subsequent chapters. Terms that are in bold can also be found in the Glossary. Finally, Recommended Further Reading sources are included at the close of each chapter. Online resources are listed, along with more traditional books, articles, and monographs.
In summary, we know that pedagogical and curricular change is an incremental process where small steps often yield powerful results in students' literacy growth. We believe strongly that the resources offered in this book will enhance your current teaching and, most important, help students move toward the application of critical literacy. By providing opportunities for critical literacy in and out of the classroom, your students will be acquiring a lifelong predisposition to be unassuming when it comes to the multiple and often conflicting messages they receive from texts, films, novels, the Internet, political figures, and a host of other discourse forms.Recommended Further ReadingCritical Literacy1999). Further notes on the four resources model. Reading Online. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Retrieved from http://www.readingonline.org/research/lukefreebody.html, & ([Page xviii]Critical Media Literacy1999). Popular culture in the classroom: Teaching and researching critical media literacy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association., , & (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.(Critical Policy Analysis2004). Understanding and applying critical policy analysis: Reading educators advocating for change. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.(2003). Reading First: A critical policy analysis. The Reading Teacher, 56, 662–672.(Discourse1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology and discourse ((2nd ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.Globalization2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.(2005). What have we learned? In N.Noddings (Ed.), Educating citizens for global awareness. New York: Teachers College Press.(New Literacies2002). Preface. In D. E.Alvermann (Ed.), Adolescents and literacies in a digital world (pp. vii-xi). New York: Peter Lang.(2005). New literacies in action: Teaching and learning in multiple media. New York: Teachers College Press.(2002). Do we have your attention? New literacies, digital technologies, and the education of adolescents. In D. E.Alvermann (Ed.), Adolescents and literacies in a digital world (pp. 19–39). New York: Peter Lang., & ([Page xix]References2002). Preface. In D. E.Alvermann (Ed.), Adolescents and literacies in a digital world (pp. vii-xi). New York: Peter Lang.(2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.(2005). New literacies in action: Teaching and learning in multiple media. New York: Teachers College Press.(2006, April). Itronix Hummer Laptop: The in-your-face status symbol for the ultimate road warrior. Laptop: Mobile solutions for business and life, 31 (2), pp. 146–147.(Mazda North American Operations. (2004). ’05 Mazda Miata: Zoom-zoom. Irvine, CA: Author.2005). What have we learned? In N.Noddings (Ed.), Educating citizens for global awareness. New York: Teachers College Press.(2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.([Page xx]
True to our theoretical views of literacy as social practice, the crafting of this book has been a socially constructed work, with many more contributors and interlocutors than just the two of us. We are particularly grateful to the teachers and students who worked with us in exploring how critical literacy can take shape in specific contexts. We continue to be impressed and in awe of the courage it takes not just to teach but to teach for social justice in contemporary times.
In addition, we would like to thank Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear for the initial support and guidance they provided to early ideas about this book. Michele's consistent feedback was always encouraging while also helping us to push the professional conversation in new directions. Thanks also to Jacqueline Edmondson, who took time to lend her experiential and scholarly voice in a specific contribution. The numerous reviewers of this text have given us invaluable suggestions for revising and editing our early drafts. They include the following:
Patricia E. Calderwood, Fairfield University
Joan C. Fingon, California State University, Los Angeles
Judith A. Gouwens, Roosevelt University
Kathleen A. Hinchman, Syracuse University
Shelley Hong Xu, California State University, Long Beach
Cheryl A. Kreutter, St. John Fisher College
Peter McDermott, The Sage Colleges
Jennifer Moon Ro, Binghamton University-SUNY
[Page xxii] Ladislaus M. Semali, Pennsylvania State University
Robert Sylvester, Bridgewater State College
Bogum Yoon, Texas Woman's University
Finally, we would like to thank the staff at Sage Publications who encouraged us throughout the process of creating this text. The guidance of Diane McDaniel was especially critical. In addition, Erica Carroll and Elise Smith were especially helpful in assisting us through the technical aspects of bringing the text to publication. We've been fortunate to have worked with a team of editors who have maintained the central goal of making this a successful and quality product.
About the Authors