Advocacy Research in Literacy Education
Seeking Higher Ground
Routledge – 2006 – 360 pages
This book reviews what the authors term advocacy research in literacy education-research that explicitly addresses issues of social justice, equity, and democracy with the distinct purpose of social transformation. It surveys what educational researchers who are working for social justice have accomplished, describes current challenges, and outlines future possibilities.
The first section maps the terrain of advocacy research in literacy education. The authors group this large and expanding body of research into four categories: Critical Literacy(ies); Radical Counternarratives in Literacy Research; Literacy as Social Practice; and Linguistic Studies. Each chapter describes the research area, traces its history, provides example studies, and assesses the contributions of research to advocacy work now and potentially in the future. The second section provides a deeper consideration of challenges to the field of advocacy research and suggests future directions for research and scholarship; this section reflects the need to complicate and trouble the terms and relations between and among social justice, ethics, democracy, freedom, and literacy.
As a whole, this book is a response to the current popular understandings of literacy education that limit the efficacy of advocacy work in these troubled times-understandings that support the proliferation of standardized testing, teacher testing, and scripted lessons and programs, along with the privileging of particular forms of research. Intended for those who work or soon will work in literacy education-students, teacher educators, researchers, and practitioners-this book represents the authors' belief that it is time for advocacy workers to strengthen and intensify their efforts to promote the most principled, effective literacy education for democratic life. It is their hope that this book will contribute to such an effort.
"…sets the groundwork for a new generation of researchers and advocates for critical literacy and student empowerment…This book works effectively as a powerful contrast to the push toward so-called ‘scientifically-based’ education research and standardization….Highly Recommended." – CHOICE, August 2007, Vol. 44, No. 11
Contents: Preface. Introduction: Advocacy, Research, and Education. Paulo Freire and Critical Literacy(ies). Radical Counternarratives in Literacy Research I: Feminist and Queer Theory. Radical Counternarratives in Literacy Research II: Postcolonial Theory and Critical Race Theory. Literacy as Social Practice. Linguistic Studies. Why Social Justice? Ethics for Advocacy Research. The Literate Body. Literacy, Democracy, and Freedom.