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Myth # 1 Parents are content to live off welfare.
Myth # 2 Parents are caught in a cycle of poverty.
Myth # 3 Poor households are vacant of print.
These are among the many myths about poor and diverse families. Catherine Compton-Lilly refutes them with the best data available - the lives of her students and their parents. But she doesn't simply dispel the myths. She demonstrates how teachers can and should act to close the academic gap for which families are largely blamed.
Compton-Lilly represents children and adults who confront racism, poverty, and power on a daily basis. They are people whose brains function well, who display keen moral character, and who belong to cultures that support learning of all sorts. And they bring to their home and the classroom many strengths, including a wealth of knowledge and experience about literacy. Compton-Lilly draws on her research into the role of family and urban life to debunk the assumptions about poor and diverse populations. Then she offers specific instructional strategies and practical critical literacy projects that connect families and communities to classrooms and schools. These projects work particularly well with urban learners. They also can be adapted to recognize or respond to any kind of community in which a school is based.
Both thought-provoking and action-oriented, Compton-Lilly's book will challenge your assumptions and practices. It will help you build on the positive things children add to the classroom. It will help all of us recognize the contributions of parents in ways that respect their experiences and their lives.
Assumptions About Families
Assumptions About Reading
Learning Lessons and Confronting Myths
Twelve Myths About Poor and Diverse Parents
Building on What Children Bring
Critical Literacy Projects
Building on the Knowledge That Children Bring: Using Jump Rope Rhymes in the Classroom
Student Ethnographers Studying Reading
Addressing Real Issues in Communities: Fighting Violence
Recognizing the Work of Parents
A Schoolwide Project: Learning About Lead Poisoning
Paying and Paying Back: Employing Critical Literacy in the Humanities to Examine the Warp and Woof of Democracy (by Todd K. Lilly)
Appendix: Methodology of the Teacher/Research Study