Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 6, 2008

Ahh.. Politics. (Freedman and Johnson)

Filed under: Critical Literacy--Johnson/Freedman, Uncategorized — Mandy @ 5:55 pm

Many aspects of this text were useful and many of the ideas reminiscent of what we have been talking about in class. I am a huge proponent of social justice, as I imagine all of us are, so reading this text was especially enjoyable for me. A lot of issues from these chapters seem very timely to discuss in relation to the upcoming election and emphasis on our country’s social problems. At the same time, I am distressed that students/adolescents in the age bracket of 18 and up have incredibly low percentages of participation in the current race for the Presidency. And I have to wonder, are they getting any exposure in high school to many of the issues that they will have to deal with in the near future? Are they simply latching on to their parents’ opinions, without ever considering the consequences, implications, advantages in choosing to blindly participate in those discourses?  I am terrified to think that they are not getting the necessary exposure, and thus, many teachers are not living up to their responsibilities to inform and challenge our students. Am I getting too political? If so, I apologize…I am in that mindset this week!! Further, this text also considers social justice within schools, which I think is often overlooked.

Chapter three discusses using theory with middle-level students, and this directly relates to social justice. I am wondering about everyone’s reaction to this idea, especially because so few teachers at the high school level work with theories. However, I like this idea because I think that the younger kids are when they start to “understand the world’s complexity”, the better off they will be. What do others think of this issue? How can we use theory with our middle level kids without confusing or overwhelming them? This is a challenge I am thinking about as I read this text, but I know it must be done to prepare our kids to be active citizens, workers, voters, parents, professionals.

One of the most critical aspects that I took away from this text was the “pedagogy of possibility” where “schools can be transforming institutions where teachers and students can change themselves and the world” (15). I think this is essential to the work we do as English teachers and fits in nicely with the idea of social justice. How can we transform the lives of our students and the world as a whole, without acknowledging social justice? I don’t think we can. Please consider some of these issues and respond or be prepared to discuss them tomorrow in class with Kari and I. Thanks!!



1 Comment »

  1. Mandy,
    I hope you don’t mind that I added this post to the category of the text! I didn’t see it at first so I made my post without reading yours- sorry! See you tomorrow in class where we will be discussing our butts off. 🙂


    Comment by kariredmond — February 7, 2008 @ 4:14 am

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