In the Pursuit of Justice

  • Title:In the Pursuit of Justice: Students’ Rights to Read and Write in Elementary School
  • Author:Mariana Souto-Manning
  • Publication Date:April 2020
  • Grade Level:K-5
  • ISBN:9780814148204
  • Publisher:NCTE ( National Council of Teachers of English )

Even from the earliest grades, children have the rights to read and write—not just in dominant American English, but also in their own languages and dialects. Historically narrow definitions of reading and writing, however, often prevent children of color and immigrants from having access to texts that reflect their diverse cultures and backgrounds. Promoting an equitable and inclusive understanding of literacy, Mariana Souto-Manning and her teacher contributors explore how elementary teachers can welcome the voices and languages of their students into their classrooms in their pursuit of reading and writing experiences that showcase children’s skills and practices.

Eight New York City public school teachers illustrate how the principles detailed in two NCTE position statements—NCTE Beliefs about the Students’ Right to Write and The Students’ Right to Read—come alive in their diverse classroom settings. When teachers view the communities their students come from as assets to and in the school, children not only thrive through an inclusive curriculum, but they also gain confidence and belief in themselves as learners while developing a critical consciousness that can change the world.

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