Monday, April 27, 2009

Boys' Literacy IS a Critical Literacy Issue!

Today was the final session in the series, Where the Boys Are. I was truly fortunate to have had the chance to meet and converse with fabulous teachers. Our kids are in great hands!

The focus of the last in-service was critical literacy and how the issue of boys' literacy is in itself a critical literacy issue. The gender-related issues alone only scratch the surface. Take a look at these brain scans:

This image is of the female brain at rest...

... and this one is of the male brain at rest. Current research has shown that there is just as much neurological activity in ther resting female brain as there is in the male brain that is actively engaged in problem-solving. Does our programming reflect this basic biological reality?

It when we take a closer look at the institutional norms of education, there really are clear examples related to power, class and race (in addition to gender) that worked to effectively alienate boys from their learning. Can anyone offer some examples?

My example: Traditional texts and resources often portray stereotypical views of masculinity, which alienate those boys that do not conform to those norms...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Something to chew on...

"One of the tasks of the progressive educator, through a serious, correct political analysis is to unveil opportunities for hope, no matter what the obstacles may be. After all, without hope there is little we can do. For hope is an ontological need...The attempt to do without hope in the struggle to improve the world, as if that struggle could be reduced to calculated acts alone, or a purely scientific approach, is a frivolous illusion." (Freire, 1998a)

What are your thoughts?

Critical Literacy - Part One (December 17, 2008)

No doubt, you heard or saw some things that you may have struggled with. Critical literacy is not so black and white as teaching functional literacy skills, and admittedly, not without controversy. Clearly, I am very passionate about the topic and I have encountered opposition along the way. Sometimes, changing our practice can be very lonely and isolating, but for me, the end result was worth the effort.

What are your thoughts so far? Do you see this mindset working in your classroom? In your school? Explain your feelings. Please feel free to be as honest and forth-coming as possible. The purpose of this activity is not to be judgemental of each other, but rather to work out our feelings on this rather complex issue. When you have posted, please read other responses and react to one.