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Critical Literacy

Sara712's picture

In my meeting with Alice yesterday, I brought up my hope to have a clearer understanding of how to incorporate critical literacy into the curriculum, especially when there are significant structural limitations. I also wonder how one approaches this realm with differing types of students (socioeconomically, racially, gender). In recalling Marsha Pincus’s presentation, I wonder about how she described her experience with a student telling her that her material was “white man’s bullshit.” If I were the teacher in that circumstance I would be extremely intimidated and probably paralyzed (at least temporarily). It seems like a huge challenge to consider each diverse attribute in the classroom without spending too much time on the material or overemphasizing differences; because as teachers we hope to build a united classroom community, I think that stressing our differences too much can create unwanted divisions. However I still do believe that students’ and teachers’ dissimilarities should be acknowledged and celebrated. 


alesnick's picture

addressing unity and diversity

I appreciate your marking how challenging it could be to hear this kind of criticism from a student.  I think seeing the teaching project as essentially one of co-learning can help us move past paralysis and into joint action, as Marsha described -- walking to the library together with her student!  I can envision you doing this, too!  The issue of how to recognize difference without dividing is important.  Somehow, I think that a deeper grasp of how ALL of us are different, bring differences from expected/mandated norms, can help.  Have you seen this issue playing out in your placement?