“VanDerPloeg doesn't just inspire us with cool perspectives and ideas about social justice teaching, she shows us how it works in real classrooms with stories of practice; she gives us real strategies to go along with her vision.”
—From the Foreword by David Schaafsma, University of Illinois at Chicago
“VanDerPloeg has given us a wonderfully clear and practical guide to building secondary classrooms that foster deep understanding, strong student voices, impressive academic rigor, and passionate commitment to creating a better world.”
—Randy Bomer, The University of Texas at Austin
This book brings literacy research and culturally relevant pedagogy together to offer a comprehensive vision of what socially just teaching can look like in the secondary English classroom. The author, an experienced professional developer and teacher, provides a powerful framework for analyzing classroom instruction with regard to ideals of stance, relevance, access, identity, and agency. Chapters provide models that have worked in real classrooms, including a model for developing units of study in social justice. The final chapter addresses how educational leaders can create conditions for socially just teaching and learning in today's diverse schools.
- A focus on the challenges teachers are likely to face, particularly in schools with struggling, disengaged students.
- Guidance for navigating the everyday complexities of the classroom.
- Strategies for responding to critical moments in the classroom.
- Lesson plans and vignettes from urban schools.
- Leadership principles for putting socially just teaching into action.
Laura Schneider VanDerPloeg is a national consultant with extensive experience working with schools and districts to improve student reading, writing, and thinking. In her 23 years as a classroom teacher, researcher, and professional developer, her work has focused on supporting secondary students and teachers in diverse and underserved schools.