Publication Date: November 4, 2013
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Using narrative inquiry, this book shares the author’s transformative journey as a literacy teacher and researcher examining her experience as a White, middle-class female. The author argues that it is not enough for teachers to implement curricula and pedagogical strategies designed to foster inclusiveness. Instead, teachers must look inward, questioning their personal histories, biases, and beliefs to develop better self-awareness. In this book, Kuby reflects on how her self-interrogation shaped her interactions with 5- and 6-year-olds and influenced her critical literacy teaching. The book discusses five key questions:
1. Witnessing: What Do You Do With What You See and Know?;
2. Whiteness: How Was Curriculum Shaped by My Histories?;
3. What is a Negotiated Critical Literacy Inquiry?
4. “We, Them, White, Black”: What Language Should Educators Use?
5. Can Social Action be Embodied Over Time and Space?
This practical text includes a parent questionnaire, an example of a summer program newsletter, and reflective exercises for pre- and inservice teachers.
Candace R. Kuby is an assistant professor of early childhood education at the University of Missouri.
“If we wish to create an enlightened citizenry, critical literacy needs to begin on the very first day of the first year of schooling.”
—Jerome C. Harste, professor emeritus, Indiana University
“What Candace shows us is that critical literacy is for all children and that critical literacies are ways of being that cut across time and space and move beyond the four walls of the classroom and beyond the ‘regular’ school year.” —From the Foreword by Vivian M. Vasquez, American University, Washington DC
"In this very thought-provoking book, Candace Kuby uses both her own struggle with White privilege, and that of her students, to demonstrate the importance of cultivating critical consciousness through and in literacy even with those who are very young. Equity and justice for all can only be attained by practicing critical pedagogy for and with all children."
—Gaile Cannella, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University