Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education

Vaughan M. Blaney
BSc(UNB,Canada), BEd(UNB,Canada), TEFLA(University of Cambridge), MEd(HKU, Hong Kong)

Book: "A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education"

The Letter 'X'...

Xian’s 祖父母 live with his family
Judy’s far from home
With your grandparents in your heart
You’ll never be alone

Xerox copies of one another we are not, still all can agree that we:
  • know that xi is a letter in the Greek alphabet
  • like the sound of a xylophone
  • know that Merry Xmas means Merry Christmas
  • know that Xhosa is a language
  • have an X-chromosome
  • know that xenon is one of the elements on Earth
  • know that an x-ray machine can be found in a hospital
  • think that xeranthemum is a big world for a flower
  • know that xenophobia is often compared to racism
  • know how to print the letter X

The emerging research on popular culture in relation to literacy sheds light on how students interact outside of school with print and no-nprint texts that are uniquely meaningful to them in a cultural and linguistic way (Alvermann & Hagood, 2000; Alvermann, Moon, & Hagood, 1999; Buckingham, 1993; Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1994; Chandler, 1999; Finders, 1997; Gee, 2000; Lewis, 1998; Luke, 1998). Dyson’s (1993, 1997) work with teachers who supported diverse students’ integration of popular culture into their reading and writing experiences at school suggests a crucial role for popular culture in students’ acquisition and exercise of skills in multiple literacies (ie. print and non-print text such as icons, images, and multimedia found on the internet and in TV shows, music and music videos…etc.). If these teachers had focused on teaching traditional print literacy and had not allowed their students to write and act out stories about superheroes, popular songs, and so on, the students’ rich literacy knowledge might not have been apparent. Thus, it seems important that teacher education courses emphasize the need for preservice and inservice teachers to become knowledgeable about their students’ experiences with popular culture, to examine the multiple literacies involved in interactions with popular culture, and to explore ways to integrate popular culture into teaching.

Xu, Hong Shelley

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