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ERIC Number: EJ923720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0360-9170
Listening to Echoes: Teaching Young Black Men Literacy and the Problem of ELA Standards
Kirkland, David E.
Language Arts, v88 n5 p373-380 May 2011
The default image to which many ELA standards adhere lacks the complexity and sensitivity to account for the diverse range of students that occupy ELA classrooms. For young Black men, such standards poise a unique threat as they fail to reflect the social and cultural dimensions that factor into Black male literacy practices. In so doing, Kirkland argues that ELA standards help reproduce the dissonance and chronic failures that characterize Black male school experiences and shapes the tragedies that further burden Black male life. Kirkland complicates the notion of standards by offering the narrative of a young Black male, Rashad, illustrating how his practices of literacy are found in the echoes of an older brother, but leveraged against the standardized literacy practices of the classroom. In order to be useful to Black males, Kirkland concludes, ELA standards must be rewritten with Black males in mind, drawing from their literacy biographies and offering opportunities to reformat the echoes that hide in the pulse of their beings into a rich range of socially and culturally sensitive practices that promote healing, hope, and justice. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A