Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind

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How can educators improve the literacy skills of students in historically underachieving urban high schools? In this timely book, the author offers a theoretical framework for the design of instruction that is both culturally responsive and subject-matter specific, rooted in examples of the implementation of the Cultural Modeling Project. Presented here, the Cultural Modeling Project draws on competencies students already have in African American Vernacular English (AAVE) discourse and hip-hop culture to tackle complex problems in the study of literature. Using vivid descriptions from real classrooms, the author describes how AAVE supported student learning and reasoning; how students in turn responded to the reform initiative; and how teachers adapted the cultural framework to the English/ language arts curriculum. While the focus is on literacy and African American students, the book examines the functions of culture in facilitating learning and offers principles for leveraging cultural knowledge in support of subject matter specific to academic learning. This much-awaited book offers important lessons for researchers, school district leaders, and local practitioners regarding the complex ways that cultural knowledge is constructed and plays out in classroom life, in the life of a school, and in the life of a whole-school reform initiative.

About the Author:
Carol D. Lee is Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807747490
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 6/14/2007
  • Series: Multicultural Education Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol D. Lee is Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

Series Foreword   James A. Banks     xi
Foreword   Linda Darling-Hammond     xvii
Preface     xxiii
Acknowledgments     xxvii
Introduction: Conceptualizing Learning as Cultural Processes     1
The Culture of Everyday Practices and Their Implications for Learning in School     9
Understanding Cultural Displays in the Service of Discipline-Based Learning     15
A Lens for Understanding the Role of Perceptions in Influencing Actions     25
Modeling as a Multidimensional Cultural Space     31
Leveraging Everyday Knowledge     34
Pedagogical Knowledge of Academic Disciplines     36
Modeling with Cultural Data Sets     58
Cultural Modeling of Symbolism     59
Range of Reasoning Scaffolded Through Cultural Data Sets     69
Conclusion     78
When and Where I Enter: African American English as a Resource for Instructional Discourse     80
African American English and Instructional Discourse     82
Who Is That Woman? Literary Reasoning in African American English     89
Instructional Talk Based on African American English Norms as Improvisation     95
Preacherly Style and Sermonic Tone     100
Cultural Modeling and theDemands of Teacher Knowledge     108
Relationships Between Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge     110
Pedagogical Content Knowledge     120
Identity and Development as Links Between Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Practice     124
Understanding Teacher Knowledge and Commitment in Practice     132
On Being Explicit in Teaching Complex Reasoning     141
Maximizing Participation     142
Culturally Responsive, Subject Matter-Specific Guided Participation     145
Distinguishing Problems of Representation     150
Conclusions     153
Documenting Student Learning: Challenges and Opportunities     155
How Well Can These Kids Read?     157
Engagement in Literary Reasoning     163
What a Difference a Second Reading Makes!     169
Conclusion     173
Blooming in the Midst of the Whirlwind     175
Notes     189
References     193
Index     222
About the Author     232
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