Publication Date: August 17, 2018
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Filled with day-to-day literacy practices, this book will help elementary school teachers understand their role in dismantling the imbalance of privilege in literacy education. Chapters take readers into classrooms where they will see, hear, and feel decolonizing and humanizing culturally relevant pedagogies as students learn literacy and a critical stance through musical literacies, oral histories, heritage lessons, and building a critical consciousness. The authors also share strategies to help teachers examine their own educational spaces, start the school year in culturally relevant ways, build reciprocal relationships with families and communities, and teach within standards and testing mandates while challenging unjust systems. Practices are brought to life through students, families, and community members who voice the realities of pedagogical privilege and oppression and urge educators to take action for change.
Janice Baines is a second grade teacher and Carmen Tisdale is a reading coach, both in Columbia, South Carolina. Susi Long is a professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina.
“Being ‘on the right side of change’ means embodying and speaking up for justice, equity, and cultural relevancy. It is a matter of life and death, liberation and transformation, care and love for the lives of People of Color whose very histories, heritages, and literacies, families and communities, are Othered and dehumanized by systems that privilege Whiteness. Teachers of every child must acknowledge that ‘we’ve been doing it your way long enough’— this is the brilliance of the book and the work that lies ahead for all who commit to choosing the culturally relevant classroom.”
—Valerie Kinloch, dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Education
“Baines, Tisdale, and Long capture our hearts by capturing the heart of culturally relevant teaching. In so doing, readers come to understand how and why #BlackLivesMatter in every elementary classroom and the importance of drawing on the cultural wealth of Black children in the teaching of all students. It is impossible to read this book and return to the same old pedagogies and practices. It compels critically conscious educators to say, “We have been doing it your way long enough, we choose the culturally relevant classroom.”
—Nathaniel Bryan, Miami University, Oxford OH
"An engaging demonstration of how to create and normalize restorative, energizing, humane, and culturally relevant classrooms for children and for educators. This volume seamlessly embeds guidance for creating liberating pedagogical practices in order to transform schools for all students and teachers."
—Gloria Boutte, University of South Carolina
Baines, Tisdale, and Long teach us to not only have conscience and act on it, but to engage in culturally relevant teaching in ways that are doable and necessary. I thank them for their art of protest.
—Shashray McCormack, elementary school teacher, Louisville KY
"If you endeavor to more deeply understand what it takes to transform classrooms into culturally relevant, responsive, and sustainable spaces, this is the book to read. It is for anyone who is fed up with inequitable policies and practices. It is a call to action to make pedagogical shifts that truly honor and build on the many cultural strengths of students and communities."
—H. Richard Milner IV, Helen Faison Professor of Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh
"This book lays a strong theoretical and pedagogical foundation for the importance of culturally relevant teaching. It provides vivid examples of how to engage students in learning activities that honor and celebrate their lives. The voices of scholars, practitioners, community members, and students are brilliantly woven throughout and will charge all stakeholders to better serve our students."
—Kamania Wynter-Hoyte, University of South Carolina
Tentative Table of Contents
Preface: A Letter to Educators
Introduction: Knowing Us
Invitation to Read Further
Chapter 1. Choosing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
Choosing and Defining Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
Why Does This Book Matter for All Teachers?
Conclusion: "Nobody's Free Until We're All Free"
2. "Good Love": Knowing Self, Knowing Families, Knowing Histories
Conclusion: "America Owes Itself"
Chapter 3. Starting the Year in Culturally Relevant Ways
Setting Up the Classroom
The First Weeks of School
Conclusion: Tomorrow's Promise
Chapter 4. Musical Literacies in the Culturally Relevant Classroom
Musical Literacies and Histories in Carmen's Classroom
Drums, Swag, Our Brothas, Our Hearts: Janice's Scholars Connecting Through Music
Continuing to Grow
Conclusion: Connected Wherever We Are
Chapter 5. Oral Histories: Preserving Community Stories
Continuing to Grow
Conclusion: "I Am Because We Are"
Chapter 6. Re-Membering History: Links to Africa and Literacy
Initiating Our Learning
Using Our Re-Membering to Teach
Continuing to Grow
Conclusion: Growth for Us All
Chapter 7. Developing a Critical Consciousness: Silence Says "I'm Fine with the Way Things Are"
Direct, Daily, Focused
Making the Commitment
Lessons to Build a Critical Consciousness
Developing a Critical Consciousness Through Spontaneous Classroom Talk
Conclusion: "Why Is It Not Like Breathing?"
Chapter 8. Culturally Relevant Teaching as the Pedagogical Norm
Strategies for Action
Conclusion: "No More Comfortable Silence"
About the Authors