Culture, Relevance, and Schooling
Exploring Uncommon Ground
Publication date:16 March 2011
Length of book:176 pages
In Culture, Relevance, and Schooling: Exploring Uncommon Ground, Lisa Scherff, Karen Spector, and the contributing authors conceive of culturally relevant and critically minded pedagogies in terms of opening up new spatial, discursive, and/or embodied learning terrains. Readers will traverse multiple landscapes and look into a variety of spaces where attempts to tear down or build up pedagogical borders based upon socially-just design are underway. In disciplines ranging from elementary science, to high school English, to college kinesiology, the contributors to this volume describe their attempts to remake schooling in ways that bring hope and dignity to their participants.
From the foreword and introduction, through each of the essays, this volume reanimates the oft-employed term 'cultural relevance,' bringing it to life through the experiences of children and youth who seek a relevant and meaningful education and teachers who strive, always fallibly and often imperfectly, to offer what their students deserve. Fortunately, there are no recipes for quick-fixes suggested here. Instead, teachers, administrators, and researchers will find rich, complex examples of critical pedagogies in practice that point to relevance as a lived concept that has the potential, in all of its intricacies, to craft school spaces in which students feel connected, valued, and at the center of their own educations.