Negotiating Critical Literacies With Young Children
Routledge – 2004 – 184 pages
Vivian Vasquez draws on her own classroom experience to demonstrate how issues raised from everyday conversations with pre-kindergarten children can be used to create an integrated critical literacy curriculum over the course of one school year. The strategies she presents are solidly grounded in relevant theory and research. In this innovative and engaging text, Vasquez:
*describes how she and her students negotiated a critical literacy curriculum;
*shows how they dealt with particular social and cultural issues and themes; and
*shares the insights she gained as she attempted to understand what it means to frame one's teaching from a critical literacy perspective.
Negotiating Critical Literacies With Young Children is specifically useful for early elementary (K-3) teachers as a demonstration of classroom applications of critical literacy that they can try in their own classrooms. It is equally relevant to all concerned with issues of social justice and equity in school settings and the political nature of education, and to educators at all levels who are interested in finding ways to make their curriculum critical. For preservice teachers, this book offers a model for envisioning their future practice and for recognizing the important relationship between theory and practice. Teacher educators and consultants will find this book valuable as an example of how to put a critical edge on teaching. It is intended for use as a text in reading, language arts, literacy, social justice, critical literacy, and early childhood education courses.
"This practical book is full of specific information on how to develop young children's critical-thinking skills."
—Children's Learning Association Quarterly
"…provides a compelling illustration of the role of children's literature in the classroom and in children's lives….To use Vasquez's words, it will challenge us 'to make significant' the issues that matter."
—Language Arts, Vol. 84, No. 3
"This book presents a 'hot topic'--critical literacy--in a unique setting: a junior kindergarten….Most people, teachers in particular, think primary age kids, let alone preschoolers, are too young for this. Vivian shows not only that it can be done, but that done well (and her practice was certainly gorgeous), it promotes a depth of learning that teachers, parents, and even the kids themselves recognize….The case she makes for critical literacy being not only powerful but pleasurable and hopeful is important and often missing from other books on the subject….What an extraordinary achievement and what an extraordinary contribution to the fields of early childhood education, early literacy, and language education!"
—Carole Edelsky, Arizona State University
"Vasquez vividly depicts a radically different kind of curriculum that allows the reader to imagine a new range of what's possible in schools. Her use of a theoretical 'tool kit' makes the conceptual framework accessible. What is most amazing and compelling about this book is that the research takes place in a pre-kindergarten class. Readers are confronted with the narrowness of our own ideologies about what little folks can and cannot do. This book makes a great contribution in terms of what are appropriate curricula and expectations for young children."
—Mitzi Lewison, Indiana University
Contents: S. Nieto, Series Foreword. Preface. Introduction. Finding Space for Critical Literacy. Getting Started. The French Café. Our Friend Is a Vegetarian. Save the Beluga. We Know How McDonald's Thinks. A Look Back Over the Year.