Most educators understand that our students come from diverse backgrounds. Yet what to do with this diversity remains a key issue. Traditional teaching approaches and curriculum disservice both the mainstream and minority students by focusing mainly on European American perspectives, marginalizing minority students, and depriving all students of opportunities to learn from other experiences. This paper examines a teacher’s role in turning diversity into powerful tools of transformation. When teachers integrate diversity and cultural education into literacy instruction, the classroom becomes a space of exploration, in reading and writing, and in cultural knowledge and cross-cultural communication. To do this, teachers need to become familiar with students’ cultures, revise curriculum, infuse diverse texts, become facilitator of inter-group dialogue (Clark, 2002), unmark whiteness, and understand how being white shapes people’s lives (McIntosh,1988). Such integration empowers students to use literacy as a tool of transformation. Read the full article
This article examines the conceptions of the role of the teaching assistant in a college class of preservice teachers. I apply the concept of myself as a text to engage in a critical reading of how the ascribed roles of the label of teaching assistant inform teaching and learning. Using narratives from my reflexive journal, I explore the tensions of negotiating implied roles and the inherent ideologies. The concept of the “implied teacher” (Lewis and Finders, 2002) provided the lens to look at how inscribed and ascribed labels inform identities and subjectivities. I contend that the notions of our roles and labels can be so inscribed that despite resistance, individuals generally think and operate within assumed definitions and expectations. These inscriptions ultimately perpetuate prescribed practices and experiences of what it means to be a learner, a student and a teacher, and in so doing, limit opportunities for any experiences that do not meet the expectations of these norms. Read the full article
Estes, M.D. (2006). Book Review. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [On-line], 2 (1), 1-3.
Hobson, S. (2006). Book Review. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 2 (1), 4-6.