Foreword by: Antero Garcia
Publication Date: October 28, 2022
This practical book provides teachers with step-by-step guidance for developing a class culture that welcomes curiosity and ignites social action. Student-driven inquiry has a lasting impact on learning, yet questions posed from students’ own contexts rarely serve to shape their understanding of the outside world. The authors show teachers how to use literature to introduce characters and worlds that exist outside of their students’ lived experiences. Through this exposure, students can develop questions that seek to build empathy for others, which ultimately positions young people to be change agents in their communities and in the larger world. This book translates ideas from theorists in critical literacy, student motivation, and culturally responsive pedagogy into practical approaches for the English language arts and social studies classroom (6–12). Each chapter poses questions designed to get teachers thinking about how to use mind-opening texts with students to address social problems.
Robyn Seglem is a professor of literacy, language arts, and technology at Illinois State University and co-editor of Voices from the Middle. Sarah Bonner is an 18-year veteran currently teaching language arts at Heyworth Junior High School in Heyworth, IL.
“Dreaming big with your students is not only a possibility but—in these times—a necessity. As Robyn Seglem and Sarah Bonner make clear, it is something we can do with our students as we inquire about disruption and break past the assumed limits of schools today.”
—From the Foreword by Antero Garcia, associate professor, Stanford University
“These are difficult times for teachers who are committed to social justice and the very survival of communities and environments. Igniting Social Action in the ELA Classroom is an outstanding practical handbook for every teacher who aspires to make a difference. Robin Seglem and Sarah Bonner have created a powerful and very useful blend of practical knowledge, classroom illustrations, and well-grounded theoretical explanations. This is essential reading.”
—Allan Luke, emeritus professor, Queensland University of Technology, Australia