Books


NEW BOOK

The Languages of Africa and the Diaspora

edited by Jo Anne Kleifgen and George C. Bond

Published by Multilingual Matters

Book CoverThis book examines the social cost of linguistic exceptionalism for the education of speakers of nondominant/subordinated languages in Africa and the African diaspora. The contributors take the languages of Africa, the Caribbean, and the US as cases in point to illustrate the effects of exceptionalist beliefs that these languages are inadequate for instructional purposes. They describe contravening movements toward various forms of linguistic diversity both inside and outside of school settings across these regions. Different theoretical lenses and a range of empirical data are brought to bear on investigating the role of these languages in educational policies and practices. Collectively, the chapters in this volume make the case for a comprehensive language awareness to remedy the myths of linguistic exceptionalism and to advance the affirmative dimensions of linguistic diversity.


The Word and the World: The Cultural Politics of Literacy in Brazil

by Lesley Bartlett (forthcoming with Hampton Press, 2009).

Book CoverHow do cultural politics shape basic education policies and classrooms practices? What impact does literacy learning have on the lives of adult students? Do literacy programs contribute to social change or help to maintain contemporary power relations?

Based on two years of ethnographic research in Brazil, this project examines the introduction, circulation, interpretation, and implementation of educational theorist Paulo Freire's ideas in the field of literacy over the past forty years, focusing in particular on the period from 1995 to the present. Freire asserted that learning to read "the word," and education more generally, can and should empower learners to develop and act upon their own critiques of power relations in "the world." This bold redefinition of the purpose of education has motivated and continues to galvanize progressive educators around the world. Despite Freire's unparalleled influence in the fields of education and development, few studies have pushed beyond his inspiring ideas to examine the challenges popular education initiatives face when re-inventing his theory in practice. The Word and the World provides a rare ethnographic analysis of Freirean-style "critical" or "popular" adult literacy programs.

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Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times: Schooling Latino Immigrant Youth.

Bartlett, L. and Garcia, O. (forthcoming). Based on the Luperon Project.

The population of immigrants in the United States has been steadily increasing. The 2006 American Community Survey (as cited in Rivera-Batiz, 2008) finds that the foreign-born population reached 44 million, or 14.8% of the total population, in 2006. By the year 2000, Latinos constituted the majority (51%) of that population (Leinbach & Bailey, 2006). With these changes comes an increase in the number of immigrant students, as well. According to Capps et al (2002), "in 2000 there were 3 million foreign-born children, accounting for 5 percent of all school-age children, up from 2 percent of children in 1970" (p. 5). As the number of immigrant students expands, schools are faced with distinct challenges. How can schools best meet the linguistic needs of these burgeoning bilinguals, while supporting their academic development in their first language? What challenges do they face, specifically from restrictive accountability models and the political economic constraints that immigrants encounter in the United States?

In Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times, Lesley Bartlett and Ofelia Garcia document a case study of one high school in New York City facing such challenges. Their book explores questions such as the following: Who are U.S. Latino adolescent immigrant newcomers, and how do they differ from other U.S. Latino youths in their educational needs? How do various sociocultural issues, such as community, family, ethnicity, and gender influence their adaptation to U.S. schools? How are federal, state, and local policies constraining efforts to support the students' multilingualism? What are the achievements and limitations of this high school model, and what can this case study teach us more broadly about educating Latino newcomer immigrant youth?

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Critical approaches to comparative education: Vertical case studies from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Bartlett, L. and Vavrus, F. (Eds.) (forthcoming) Palgrave Macmillan.

This book unites a dynamic group of scholars who examine linkages among local, national, and international levels of educational policy and practice. Utilizing multi-sited, ethnographic approaches, the essays explore vertical interactions across diverse levels of policy and practice while prompting horizontal comparisons across twelve sites in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. The vertical case studies focus on a range of topics, including participatory development, the politics of culture and language, neoliberal educational reforms, and education in post-conflict settings. Editors Vavrus and Bartlett contribute to comparative theory and practice by demonstrating the advantages of 'thinking vertically.'

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