Literacy, visual culture, and citizenship in education
Information, equity, and learning in a "post truth" era
In this presentation, we propose to share, and theorize work in which our education students (in our literacy and curriculum design courses, at Adelphi and Louisiana State universities) explored educational inequities in their local contexts (e.g., differences in school funding in communities on Long Island; in curriculum and pedagogy in schools in Baton Rouge) and created visual representations for communicating the knowledge gained and contemplating how to create alternatives that might work in ways aimed at promoting greater justice.
Critical readings of and compelling representations for communicating knowledge, and access to such via education, are particularly called for in the present historical moment wherein equity is increasingly at issue, and access to information while abundant arrives also exponentially and overwhelmingly within an excess of misinformation.
Critical readings of and compelling representations for communicating knowledge, and access to such via education, are particularly called for in the present historical moment wherein equity is increasingly at issue, and access to information while abundant arrives also exponentially and overwhelmingly, part and parcel with an excess of misinformation. Scarcely, then, has there been a time when literacy writ large—involving multiple media and digitized platforms in a highly and progressively growing visual culture is requisite to enlightened and engaged citizenship (Kinloch, 2010). In an era at once described as post-truth (Keyes, 2004) and post-racial (Shorr, 2008; Wootens, 1971), and yet marked, in our US context—albeit with global contours, by such policies and practices as “the New Jim Crow” (Alexander, 2012) and “school to prison pipeline” (Fasching-Varner, Mitchell, Martin and Bennett-Haron, 2014; Heitzeg, 2016; Okilwa, Khalifa and Briscoe, 2017), disproportionately acting upon, criminalizing and incarcerating African-Americans—amid the growth as well of renewed forms of nationalism, racism, re-segregation and educational disparity (Bell, 2004; Dixson and Rousseau, 2004; Logan and Burdick-Will, 2017; Love, 2019; McFarland and Hussar, 2019; Norwicki, 2018), that also fall upon economic lines particularly detrimental to opportunities and outcomes not only for people of color but also for all those who are low-income or in poverty (Gorski, 2017); as educators and scholars we were particularly interested in working with students in ways that might induce us to critically recognize, read, reckon with, and creatively respond to such realities.
In this presentation, and paper, we propose to share, and theorize concerning, something of the fruits of such work in which our education students (in our teaching literacy and curriculum design courses, at Adelphi and Louisiana State universities) explored educational inequities in their local contexts (e.g., differences in school funding in communities on Long Island; in curriculum and pedagogy in schools in Baton Rouge) and created visual representations for communicating the knowledge gained and contemplating how to create alternatives (Pirbhai-Illich, Pete & Martin, 2017; Seidel & Jardine, 2014; Snaza, Sonu, Truman, & Zaliwska, 2016) that might work in ways aimed at promoting greater justice.
Alexander, M. (2012). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York, NY: The New Press.
Bell, D. A. (2004). Silent covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the unfulfilled hopes for racial reform. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Dixson, A. D. & Rousseau, C. K. (2006). And we are still not saved: Critical Race Theory in education ten years later. In A. D. Dixson & C. K. Rousseau (Eds.), Critical Race Theory in Education: All God's Children Got a Song (pp. 31-56). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.1080/1361332052000340971
Fasching-Varner, K., Mitchell, R., Martin, L., and Bennett-Haron, K. (2014). Beyond school-to-prison pipeline and toward an educational and penal realism. Equity & Excellence in Education, 47(4), 410-429. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2014.959285
Gorsky, P. (2017). Reaching and teaching students in poverty: Strategies for erasing the opportunity gap, (2nd Ed.). NY: Teachers College Press.
Heitzeg, N. (2016). The school-to prison pipeline: Education, discipline, and racialized double standards. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger
Keyes, R. (2004). The post-truth era: Dishonesty and deception in contemporary life. NY: St. Martin's Press.
Kinloch, V. (2010). Harlem on our minds: Place, race, and the literacies of urban youth. Teachers College Press.
Logan, J. R., & Burdick-Will, J. (2017). School Segregation and Disparities in Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 674(1), 199-216. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716217733936
Love, B. (2019). We want to do more than survive: Abolitionist teaching and the pursuit of educational freedom. Boston, MA: Beacon.
McFarland, J., & Hussar, B. (2019). The Condition of Education (NCES 2019-144). Retrieved from Washington DC: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019144.pdf
Nowicki, J. M. (2018). Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities. (GAO-18-258). Washington DC: GAO.
Okilwa, N., Khalifa, M., and Briscoe, F. (Eds.). (2017). The school to prison pipeline: The role of culture and discipline in school. UK: Emerald Publishing.
Pirbhai-Illich, F., Pete, S., & Martin, F. (Eds.). (2017). Culturally responsive pedagogy: Working towards decolonization, indigeneity and interculturalism. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46328-5
Seidel, J., & Jardine, D. (2014). Ecological pedagogy, Buddhist pedagogy, hermeneutic pedagogy: Experiments in a curriculum for miracles, second ed. NY: Peter Lang. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-1-4539-1233-1
Shorr, D. (2008, January 28). A new, 'post-racial' political era in America. NPR: All Things Considered. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?.
Snaza, N., Sonu, D., Truman, S., & Zaliwska, Z. (Eds.). (2016). Pedagogical matters: New materialisms and curriculum studies. NY: Peter Lang.
Wootens, J.T. (1971, October 5). Compact set up for "post-racial" South. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1971/10/05/archives/compact-set-up-for-postracial-south.html
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).