Advocacy Research in Literacy Education: Seeking Higher Ground

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Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 350 pages
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This book reviews what the authors term advocacy research in literacy education—research that explicitly addresses issues of social justice, equity, and democracy with the distinct purpose of social transformation. It surveys what educational researchers who are working for social justice have accomplished, describes current challenges, and outlines future possibilities.
The first section maps the terrain of advocacy research in literacy education. The authors group this large and expanding body of research into four categories: Critical Literacy(ies); Radical Counternarratives in Literacy Research; Literacy as Social Practice; and Linguistic Studies. Each chapter describes the research area, traces its history, provides example studies, and assesses the contributions of research to advocacy work now and potentially in the future. The second section provides a deeper consideration of challenges to the field of advocacy research and suggests future directions for research and scholarship; this section reflects the need to complicate and trouble the terms and relations between and among social justice, ethics, democracy, freedom, and literacy.
As a whole, this book is a response to the current popular understandings of literacy education that limit the efficacy of advocacy work in these troubled times—understandings that support the proliferation of standardized testing, teacher testing, and scripted lessons and programs, along with the privileging of particular forms of research. Intended for those who work or soon will work in literacy education—students, teacher educators, researchers, and practitioners—this book represents the authors’ belief that it is time for advocacy workers to strengthen and intensify their efforts to promote the most principled, effective literacy education for democratic life. It is their hope that this book will contribute to such an effort.

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About the author (2007)

Meredith Rogers Cherlandis a teacher educator and professor of literacy education at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. She began her career in 1970 teaching elementary school and high school English, and has remained a committed teacher. In 1994 she received the University of Regina's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and in 1997 she was awarded a national Canadian 3M Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Cherland is the author ofPrivate Practices: Girls Reading Fiction and Constructing Identity, and of many articles on literature teaching, gender and reading, and teaching for social justice.

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