New Releases in Literacy
By now, readers of BookMarks are doubtless aware of our interest in how literacy teaching can be applied across subjects, and its place in out-of-school life. A number of new releases demonstrate the wide-ranging applications of literacy research and pedagogy in education, child development, and difficult-to-define fields like media literacy.
Literacy for a Better World: The Promise of Teaching in Diverse Classrooms, by Laura Schneider VanDerPloeg (Teachers College Press). Makes a case for social justice or socially just teaching as a way to "create opportunities for students to critically examine, resist, and reconstruct social structures and conditions that contribute to injustice." Literacy forms the core of this educational approach.
A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts, by Eileen Landay and Kurt Wootton (Harvard Education Press). Landay and Wootton, cofounders and codirectors of the ArtsLiteracy Project at Brown University, collect what they've learned through 14 years of research and practice in arts instruction in this book, built around a teaching structure called the "Performance Cycle." This wide-ranging curricular framework considers the ties between creativity and literacy, mapping the different stages of creativity across media from photography to writing to performance.
Early Childhood Literacy: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond, edited by Timothy Shanahan and Christopher J. Lonigan (Paul H. Brookes). A sort of "what works" knowledge base between two covers, this title is a compendium of best practices in—and critiques of—early-childhood-literacy instruction, as collected and evaluated by 28 scholars in the field.
Reading Time: The Literate Lives of Urban Secondary Students and Their Families, by Catherine Compton-Lilly (Teachers College Press). A seven-year longitudinal study of eight middle grade students and their families provides the raw material for this analysis of literacy development in low-income, urban youth. Compton-Lilly examines how changing relationships between students, parents, and teachers affects literacy and literate behavior, and argues for increased community involvement, storytelling, and knowledge-sharing as key tools for educators.
Reading Girls, by Hadar Dubowsky Ma'ayan (Teachers College Press). Through a series of case studies, Reading Girls focuses on how adolescent girls develop and struggle with multiple literacies through in-school and out-of-school experiences.