National Writing Project

Understanding Community Literacies as Foundational to Teaching Excellence

Publication: Language Arts
Date: May 2013

Summary: A review of five books that focus on helping educators put theories of community literacies into practice in their classrooms, with the goal of identifying exclusionary practices and better addressing the needs of students of color.

 

The books reviewed here communicate that as educators, we can support academic success for all students by expanding understandings about home/ community literacies. We can do this by tapping into the valuable resources that communities and families can provide. In particular, these texts focus on the expertise in communities too often marginalized in the curricular picture, helping us recognize why and how we must engage in educational efforts that liberate and educate rather than alienate and, as a result, oppress opportunities for students to succeed."

About the Authors

MARY E. STYSLINGER is an associate professor at the University of South Carolina, and is the director of the Midlands Writing Project.

TONI M. WILLIAMS is an assistant professor of Middle Level Education at the University of South Carolina.

DIANE DEFORD is a professor of Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina.

AMY DONNELLY is an associate professor of Elementary Education/Language Land Literacy at the University of South Carolina.

SUSI LONG is a professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina.

JULIA LÓPEZ-ROBERTSON is an associate professor of Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina.

NICOLE WALKER is a PhD candidate in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina.

Williams, Toni M., Diane DeFord, Amy Donnelly, Susi Long, Julia López-Robertson, Mary E. Styslinger, and Nicole Walker. "Understanding Community Literacies as Foundational to Teaching Excellence." Language Arts 90:5 (2013) 372-379. Copyright ©2013 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Reprinted with permission.

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