Issue Theme: Critical Literacies


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Issue Theme: Critical Literacies

Calls for Manuscripts

Sounding the Garden, Voicing a Problem: Mobilizing Critical Literacy through Personal Digital Inquiry with Young Children
Jon M. Wargo
Abstract: With an ear toward sound and personal digital inquiry (PDI), this article contributes an account of critical literacy pedagogy in practice in a Midwestern multiage classroom. Focusing on a first-grade student’s sonic art project and interest in working against climate change, it analyzes his practice and development of a critical stance. Examining how PDI as critical literacy cultivated new dispositions for working toward environmental justice, the article closes by discussing the possibilities of leveraging digital inquiry in elementary classrooms and describes the affordances of sound as a form of composing change with young learners.

Race, Ideology, and Cultural Representation in Raz-Kids
Maren Aukerman, Kristine Grovet, and Monica Belfatti
Abstract: This study examines racial and cultural representation in ebooks within the Raz-Kids online reading curriculum. Specifically, it applies a critical literacy lens to a sample of 172 Raz-Kids texts containing United States social studies content, examining whether and how the body of texts represent diverse parallel cultures. The analysis considers specifically to what extent and how racism and racialized violence appear, as well as how the e-books communicate ideologies related to immigration. The findings revealed a lack of inclusivity in representation for some parallel cultures, the perpetuation of some problematic stereotypes, and problematic ideology reflected both in what was included and in what was excluded. The article concludes with suggestions for teachers who wish to rethink their use of Raz-Kids and similar curricula.

Research & Policy Critical Literacy as a Way of Being and Doing
Vivian Maria Vasquez, Hilary Janks, and Barbara Comber
Abstract: This article focuses on critical literacy as way of being and doing around the globe. Orientations to critical literacy, models for instruction, key aspects and new directions are shared.

Invited Dialogue Power, Language, and Social Change: A Dialogue with Hilary Janks about Critical Literacy in a “Post-Truth World”
Jennifer D. Turner and Autumn A. Griffin
Abstract: In this column, we engage Dr. Hilary Janks in a dialogue about critical literacy. Dr. Janks discusses her four-part critical literacy framework as well as instructional strategies for teachers and teacher educators who advocate for critical literacy in a “post-truth” world.

Language Arts Lessons: Putting Your Read-Alouds to Work for LGBTQ-Inclusive, Critically Literate Classrooms
Caitlin L. Ryan and Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth
Abstract: Reading LGBTQ-inclusive books and discussing issues of power, justice, and fairness can make full-class read-alouds a space for meaningful social justice work with students.

Children’s Literature Reviews: Children’s Literature to Support Critical Literacies Engagement
Grace Enriquez, Katie Egan Cunningham, Erika Thulin Dawes, and Mary Ann Cappiello
Abstract: In this column, we feature quality children’s literature that supports critical literacies engagement in the classroom and for the independent reader.

Perspectives on Practice: Stick to Sports: Leveraging Sports Culture to Promote Critical Literacy
Luke Rodesiler
Abstract: This article examines how sports culture can provide accessible avenues for exploring sociopolitical issues and developing valuable critical literacy practices in the language arts classroom.