Girls, Social Class, and Literacy by Stephanie R Jones. What Teachers
Girls, Social Class, and Literacy
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Girls, Social Class, and Literacy

What Teachers Can Do to Make a Difference

By Stephanie R Jones
Foreword by Randy Bomer

    Using stories from her own life as a girl in a working–poor family and illuminating narratives from students living in a high–poverty neighborhood, Stephanie introduces readers to critical literacy and equips them with the tools to begin tearing apart stereotypes and creating new understandings about students, families, ourselves, and one another. This remarkable book is at once powerful and poetic, provocative and informative.
    —Lucy Calkins
    Be prepared to have your heart examined, perhaps bruised, and ultimately strengthened for the social action that is the reason Stephanie teaches and writes—and the reason every educator must read this book.
    —Jo Beth Allen, author of Sociocultural Playgrounds: Teacher Research in the Writing Classroom
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Full Description

    Using stories from her own life as a girl in a working–poor family and illuminating narratives from students living in a high–poverty neighborhood, Stephanie introduces readers to critical literacy and equips them with the tools to begin tearing apart stereotypes and creating new understandings about students, families, ourselves, and one another. This remarkable book is at once powerful and poetic, provocative and informative.
    —Lucy Calkins
    Be prepared to have your heart examined, perhaps bruised, and ultimately strengthened for the social action that is the reason Stephanie teaches and writes—and the reason every educator must read this book.
    —Jo Beth Allen, author of Sociocultural Playgrounds: Teacher Research in the Writing Classroom
    A must-read for teacher study groups preparing to tackle the impact of poverty on elementary education.
    —Barbara Comber, Centre for Studies in Literacy, Policy and Learning Cultures University of South Australia

Girls, Social Class, and Literacy is a compelling and provocative look at the debilitating effects of classism on young girls, as well as a pragmatic and powerful examination of the transformative effects of sensitive, smart teaching on children whose lives and education are too often a reflection of their economic status. Stephanie Jones shares the insights of a five-year study that followed eight working-poor girls, offering you unusually sharp insight into what it’s like to be underprivileged in America. With critical literacy as her tool, Jones then helps you peel back your ideas of the poor—and of your own students—to see them, and your role in their lives, more clearly. Just as important, using reading and writing workshop as an instructional framework, she describes how to validate and honor all students’ realities while cultivating crucial critical literacy skills. You’ll find out why giving children the option to find and talk openly about disconnections with children’s literature (as well as connections) and to write on topics of their choosing (even difficult ones) can have a large, positive impact on students as they speak and write about their reality without shame or fear of judgment.

As the gap between rich and poor widens in America, more and more children from working-poor families enter schools. You can make a difference in their lives by rethinking how you look at social class and extending to all children the same opportunities to share their experiences through reading, speaking, and writing. Read Girls, Social Class, and Literacy and ensure that in your classroom the education every student receives is not proportionate to their financial worth, but rather to their human worth.

Contents

Introduction to Lives, Class, Literacy
1. Where Are We From? A Look into Ourselves
2. Where Are Our Students From? A Look into St. Francis
3. Poverty: Living Lives on the Margins
4. Taboo No More: Validating Lives on the Margins
5. Silence Louder Than Drums: Personal and Public Consequences
6. Breaking the Silence: Critical Literacy
7. Critical Literacy: A Frame for Thinking, Planning, and Enacting
8. Relationships Outside School: Mothers, Daughters, and Critical Classroom Conversations
9. Relationships Inside School: Teacher as Potential Threat
10. Critical Literacy in the Reading Workshop: Decoding/Reconstructing Henry and Mudge
11. Critical Literacy in the Writing Workshop: Reconstruction and Social Action
12. Windows of Opportunity: Critical Work in Schools and Society
References
Index

Samples