Integrating Multiple Literacies in K-8 Classrooms: Cases, Commentaries, and Practical Applications

Integrating Multiple Literacies in K-8 Classrooms: Cases, Commentaries, and Practical Applications

Integrating Multiple Literacies in K-8 Classrooms: Cases, Commentaries, and Practical Applications

Integrating Multiple Literacies in K-8 Classrooms: Cases, Commentaries, and Practical Applications

Synopsis

This text gives prospective and practicing teachers a comprehensive understanding of how to teach multiple literacies in elementary and middle school classrooms. All of the literacies-dance, music, visual arts, popular culture, media, and computer technologies-are integrated with reading and writing. Balanced treatment is given to theoretical perspectives and practical applications. The text features authentic cases written by preservice teachers, and commentaries on the cases from practitioners and university professors. The cases are designed to prepare future teachers for the praxis teacher certifying exam and others offered in many states. Three theoretical chapters support the practical applications. The practical applications chapters (chaps. 4-12) gradually lead readers toward a deeper understanding of how to conceptualize and structure more complex, integrated lessons.

Excerpt

The function of a foreword, like that of curriculum more generally, is to give perspective. When curriculum is at its best, all the parts fit together; even better, the parts send a bigger message than they do individually.

So one way to ask “What is this book about?” is to ask, “What is the curriculum being advocated in Integrating Multiple Literacies in K-8 Classrooms: Cases, Commentaries, and Practical Applications?” Interestingly, the answer to this question, no matter how you ask it, is that it is about learning. It's about prospective teachers trying out something new, getting feedback, and learning from the experience; at the most fundamental level it is education as inquiry and inquiry as education.

It's also, as the title suggests, about multiple literacies, about multiple ways of knowing, about sign systems like the visual arts, music, dance, drama, language, and more. These subtitles don't change anything. The book as a whole is still about learning. It is about using these sign systems to enhance student learning.

Without a doubt, the strongest feature of this book is that it focuses on preservice teachers' experiences in trying to implement a multiple-ways-ofknowing curriculum. Oh, they are not always successful, but here is where reflection and correction come in, because the second strongest feature of the book is that after each case study we hear from real teachers who have been there, done that, and have the T-shirt or, said differently, “learned from the experience. ”

One mistake often made when talking about a new way to teach literacy is telling only the success stories. There is in this sense something entirely refreshing in hearing about lessons that don't go so well and then hearing from experts that give advice on what might be done to improve the original lesson.

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