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Literacies of Interrogation and Vulnerability: Reimagining Preservice Teacher Preparation Designed to Promote Social Justice in Education

  • Marcus CroomEmail author
  • Tracey T. Flores
  • George Kamberelis
Living reference work entry

Abstract

To contribute to promoting social justice in education, the concept of literacy itself must be radically reimagined. This reimagining involves moving beyond thinking about literacy as primarily an engagement with print (or even print and visuals), beyond thinking about multiple literacies or new literacies, and even beyond understanding literacies as social and cultural practices. Instead, we must come to grips with the living fact that literacy and literacies embody historical, cultural, social, economic, and political ideologies that, as Marx taught us, operate “behind our backs” and hold systems and practices of privilege/oppression in place. To begin to make these ideologies visible and to de/reconstruct these systems and practices, literacy scholars and teachers must develop literacies of interrogation and literacies of vulnerability. Literacies of interrogation involve trying to understand the conditions of possibility that incline us to believe what we believe, think what we think, and do what we do, and then to de/reconstruct those conditions of possibility to show that they are effects of particular historical-social-cultural forces and not universal, unchangeable facts. Literacies of vulnerability involve building relationships with students and their families based on reciprocity, respect, and mutual trust with the goal of making social, cultural, and economic capital more accessible to all. Both of these reimagined literacies involve both a de/reconstructive impulse and an ethic of care; literacies of interrogation underscore the former; literacies of vulnerability emphasize the latter. In the end, becoming conversant with both kinds of literacies is necessary if future literacy teachers are to become allies in promoting social justice in classrooms, schools, communities, and the world.

Keywords

Social justice Literacy Literacies Family Community Care Family and community literacies Race Racial literacies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Croom
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tracey T. Flores
    • 2
  • George Kamberelis
    • 3
  1. 1.Educational ConsultantBrio Education ConsultingOak ParkUSA
  2. 2.Language and LiteracyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Education DepartmentWestern Colorado UniversityGunnisonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marta Sánchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Instructional Technology, Foundations, and Secondary EducationUniversity of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmingtonUSA

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