Queering Critical Literacy and Numeracy for Social Justice

Navigating the Course

  • Summer Melody Pennell

Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 1-9
  3. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 11-32
  4. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 33-54
  5. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 73-88
  6. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 89-102
  7. Summer Melody Pennell
    Pages 117-136
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 137-141

About this book


“Educators have been looking for ways to move beyond critique but it has turned out to be easier to say what is wrong and what needs done than to actually do it. Through this book, Pennell has broken this logjam. She has taken critical pedagogy, critical literacy, and critical math and put them into practice—with dramatically positive results. Queer pedagogy enabled unlocking all these other approaches and allowed students to make math speak for social justice—a miraculous accomplishment!”
—George W. Noblit, Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

“Pennell extends a powerful metaphor in which kayaking represents nuanced social justice work among mostly white and gay-friendly middle schoolers in a literacy and math elective course. In doing so, she challenges teachers and students to draw on their identities as allies, with respect to sexual diversity, in order to develop their identities as allies with respect to racial diversity. In this way, Pennell guides readers to queer curriculum for social justice.”
—Mollie V. Blackburn, Professor of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State University, USA

This volume explores the value of using queer pedagogy in an interdisciplinary middle school classroom to promote a better understanding of social justice and the social construction of knowledge among students. In the course of the study, which combined student-centered literacy and mathematical inquiries through a social justice lens, students used critical literacy skills to research social justice topics, learned to read numerical data like traditional print text, and created and solved their own math problems. In bringing together critical mathematics and critical literacy through a queer lens, the author offers new ways of thinking that challenges norms and helps students embrace new concepts of learning for the modern era.


Critical literacy Social justice studies critical math queer pedagogy Michael Brown middle school

Authors and affiliations

  • Summer Melody Pennell
    • 1
  1. 1.Truman State UniversityKirksvilleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-11583-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-11584-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site