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ERIC Number: EJ1059649
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
When Cultures Meet, What's a Teacher to Do? Highlighting the "Cultural" in "Literacy as a Socio-Cultural Tool"
Bird, Cindy
Language and Literacy Spectrum, v15 p40-52 Spr 2005
Cultures determine identity in that they prescribe the "food, festivals, and fashion" of their members; for example, rap music, baggy pants and gestured dancing identify the hip hop culture (recognizable to both "members" and "non-members"). Cultural identities are created and maintained by "literacy"--the ability to read and write the "texts" of a culture. Thus in this broad sense, literacy is a socio-cultural "tool," and mastering it means "success" within a culture. The purpose of this article is to explore the socio-cultural nature of literacy as it relates to identity both for teacher and student, and to examine the use of literacy as a tool for "success" in the culture of school. The article concludes by delineating four pedagogical choices: the "uni-cultural," the "unicultural 'plus'," the "multi-cultural as motivator," and the "multi-cultural as curriculum." These are available to all teachers who stand in their classroom doorways at the meeting place of multiple cultures--their own, the school's, the classroom's, and their students'.
New York State Reading Association. PO Box 874, Albany, NY 12201. Tel: 518-434-4748; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York