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Reflecting on


films and


articles; what educational problems are they trying to address? As you review the implied or overt solutions proposed in these materials, which ones will empower and inspire students?

VIEW: Precious Knowledge (in films above)

VIEW: Most Likely to Succeed (in films above)

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l11’r’r,rrrrrnrrll tlr(‘tt’rrt lrirrg of such basic skills as reading and
,rl l r l rlt l l ;rt t ltr rl rl l o sil u:ltr: culturally relevant teaching in con-
rt:, tlr,rt rrrc l:rrrrilirr t() arld comfortable for most elementary
Ir,,,,l t.’,r.”lr.’rs. Also, doing this is an attempt to transform the
Itt t’1rt i111,, “ktrowledge in use”-to move it from the theoreti-
Culturally Relevant Teachirg
I rrrr,.l ct,rrceptual to the practical.
Hold, fast to dreans
For if dreams die
Lif e is a broken winged butterfly . . .
/^hapters Three through Five offered a look at culturally rel-
.–.revant teaching practices through teacher interviews anc-l
classroom observations. In this chapter I offer a more contextualized examination of the activities of four classrooms, three
in which culturally relevant teaching was practiced and one in
which it was not. The context for two of the classes is a reading
lesson and for the other classes it is a math lesson.
The Focus on Literacy
One of the critical national indicators of educational progress
(and national development) is the literacy rate. Amove and Graff
assert that national literacy campaigns are not unique to the twentieth century; many charismatic leaders have used literacy campaigns for “salvation, redemption, and re-creation.” They suggest
that in the twentieth century, especially since 1960, “literacy has
been seen as a process of consciousness-raising aimed at human
Tlre cpigraph on tl’ris page is from Thc Punthcr antlthc l-osh hy l-iurgsl()n
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l,, t,rr t, ,rr “r N:rl i,,rrlrl litcracy campaigns have been a part of the
,, r,rl ;rrr,l 1,,,lirit’rl frrbric of such countries as Brazil, Cuba, and
irrrnt’rru llisslrtr. However, the aim of literacy campaigns in the
lrritt’..1 Statcs has been individual and personal advancement.
iglrr ly public service messages on television exhort citizens to
gn Lrp at local libraries and schools for reading instruction. An

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