Reading the Word and Reading the World: Social Justice Teaching through Children’s Literature
Melissa Wells, PhD
As teachers of literacy, we are charged with equipping students to be readers of the world, but this vital task is first contextualized through reading the world (Freire & Macedo, 1987). This presentation will help teachers critique books for representations of diversity, as well as identify books that encapsulate themes of equity and diversity to frame powerful learning opportunities in the classroom that move toward culturally responsive teaching (Gay, 2010).
Dr. Melissa Wells is an Assistant Professor of Early Literacy at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to assuming this role, she worked in elementary schools in South Carolina as a 3rd grade teacher, kindergarten teacher, and literacy coach. Her research interests include critical literacy, coaching teachers into culturally relevant pedagogy, and engaging families in non-traditional, empowering contexts, such as digital learning communities.