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Literacy's Democratic Roots

A Personal Tour Through Eight Big Ideas

By Thomas Newkirk

Tom Newkirk, lifetime educator and bestselling author of Minds Made for Stories, discusses eight powerful literacy practices-- and the democratic values that connect them.  Newkirk argues that "the house of literacy has a thousand doors, and our job is to help students find one that will let them in."  Yet for many students reading and writing is made unnecessarily difficult and uninviting. We need to tell a better story.  Literacy's Democratic Roots celebrates eight door-opening ideas that can help us make room for all students.


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Full Description

Take a tour with author Tom Newkirk through eight big ideas in literacy instruction and their embodiment of democratic values. He explores ideas from the founders of the “writing renaissance,” 1975–1987, and the impact those ideas have had on teaching and learning. Central to the book is the belief that all students come through the school door with rich histories and interests—and as teachers we need to respect that richness and connect it to school goals.  He explains each of the eight ideas, argues for their importance, and draws on his own teaching practice/observations, including interviews from the next generation who have built upon those ideas.  He also tells a few stories along the way. This is an engaging book—personal and conversational—that celebrates teaching that can invite all students into the House of Literacy.

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