Literacy with an Attitude, Second Edition: Educating Working-Class Children in Their Own Self-Interest

SUNY Press
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The classic, indispensable guide for teachers, parents, and community organizers concerned with educating working-class children, Literacy with an Attitude dares to define literacy as a powerful right of citizenship. Patrick J. Finn persuasively debunks the time-honored paradigm for teaching poor and working-class students. Our job, he argues, is not to help such students to become middle class and live middle-class lives—most don’t want it. Education rather should focus on a powerful literacy—a literacy with an attitude—that enables working-class and poor students to better understand, demand, and protect their civil, political, and social rights.

This tenth-anniversary, second edition features eight new chapters and a revised and updated original text.
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About the author

Patrick J. Finn is Associate Professor Emeritus of Education at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Finn was named the Robert F. and Augusta Finkelstein Memorial Lecturer for Fall 2008 at Adelphi University. He is the coeditor (with Mary E. Finn) of Teacher Education with an Attitude: Preparing Teachers to Educate Working-Class Students in Their Collective Self-Interest, also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Mar 25, 2010
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Pages
331
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ISBN
9781438428048
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Administration / General
Education / Curricula
Education / General
Education / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Education / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“The nation needs to be confronted with the crime that we’re committing and the promises we are betraying. This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable.”

Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly 60 public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer. Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.

Filled with the passionate voices of children and their teachers and some of the most revered and trusted leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.


From The Shame of the Nation

“I went to Washington to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations,” the president said in his campaign for reelection in September 2004. “It’s working. It’s making a difference.” It is one of those deadly lies, which, by sheer repetition, is at length accepted by large numbers of Americans as, perhaps, a rough approximation of the truth. But it is not the truth, and it is not an innocent misstatement of the facts. It is a devious appeasement of the heartache of the parents of the poor and, if it is not forcefully resisted and denounced, it is going to lead our nation even further in a perilous direction.


Also available as a Random House AudioBook and an eBook


From the Hardcover edition.
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