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Beginning to Read and The Spin Doctors Science
NCTE, June, 1998. Fourth Printing.
The contention that phonemic awareness must be taught directly and that children need explicit systematic instruction in phonics is less of a scientific “fact” than an exercise in political persuasion. Beginning to Read and the Spin Doctors of Science is the story of the political campaign that is taking place to change the minds of Americans about how young children learn to read. “My purpose in writing Spin Doctors is to reconstruct the underlying assumptions of the political arguments that trouble and divide us, and to discover how the arguments are conceived and how they are shaped. I want to provide those who read this book with opportunities to raise fundamental questions about the character and purpose of “the reading wars.”
Many Families, Many Literacies: An International Declaration of Principles
At a time when family literacy policies and practices are confusingly fragmented and often deficit driven, Many Families, Many Literaciesprovides much-needed guidance on developing policies and practices that build on the strengths that families bring to any learning situation: their diverse languages, literacies, and complex problem-solving capabilities.
Many Families, Many Literacies reclaims family literacy from the family literacy movement and asserts that society constructs the conditions of poverty in which many minority families are forced to live. It represents the opinions of forty-nine leading education experts and family literacy practitioners, including Lucille Fandel, Ken Goodman, Yetta Goodman, David Barton, Audrey N. Grant, Klaudia Rivera, Judith Kalman, Letta Matsiepe Mashishi, and many others.
This edited collection is essential reading for any educator, researcher, or community-based practitioner concerned about the political implications of the family literacy movement.
Teaching and Advocacy
co-edited with Debbie Coughlin and Joanna Marasco, Stenhouse, February, 1997.
This book is particularly moving since the issues are seen through the eyes of practicing teachers who are struggling with student advocacy issues as they write their diaries, analyze their students’ writing, and try to figure out how far they can go in their own teaching situations. Any teacher who wants to connect literacy to action and writing to the passion with which it is generated, and who agonizes over how political she or he should be and still survive to tell the tale, should be moved by this book.
Toxic Literacies: Exposing the Injustice of Bureaucratic Texts
Nominated for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award by the publisher.
“Official documentation” hides human rights violations in this country. Men, women, and children are incapacitated by legally sanctioned discriminatory practices that occur through the use of bureaucratic texts such as laws, court transcripts, medical reports, insurance policies, and work orders. Based on a six-year ethnographic study.
From The Child’s Point Of View
Heinemann, October, 1993. Fifth Printing.
Taylor’s collection of related essays demonstrates the tremendous potential for real learning and real understanding when teachers sit side by side with their students and view the world from their perspective.
Learning Denied: Inappropriate Educational Decision Making
Heinemann, November, 1990. Eighth Printing.
Learning Denied is a powerful document. Denny Taylor’s conclusions confirm many teachers’ doubts about America’s mania for standardized tests, and serve as a signal to teachers and administrators that a reliance on test results can be more than misleading; it can be a hazard to the child.
Growing Up Literate, Learning From Inner City Families
Heinemann, May, 1988. Ninth Printing.
Awarded the Ninth Annual Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize by the Modern Language Association of America, 1989.
Denny Taylor and Catherine Dorsey Gaines made the first of what were to be many visits to families living in the inner city of a major metropolitan area in the Northeast. Their aim: to study the familial contexts in which young Black children living in urban poverty are growing up literate. Through their focus on children who were successfully learning to read and write despite extraordinary economic hardship, this multiracial team presents new images of the strengths of the family as educator and the ways in which the personal biographies and educative styles of families shape the literate experiences of children. Through the stories of the Shay Avenue families, Taylor and Dorsey-Gaines reach several conclusions that some readers may find surprising.
Family Storybook Reading
Heinemann July, 1986.
Family Storybook Reading provides vivid accounts of parents sharing storybooks with children. All kinds of families are represented with varied lifestyles, cultural backgrounds, and membership configurations. Through the descriptions and accompanying explanations the reader becomes acquainted with the special role that storybook reading plays in family life and in the acquisition of language and literacy skills.
Family Literacy: Young Children Learning to Read and Write
Heinemann, Second Edition, October 1998. Second printing.
“…Family Literacy documents the diverse ways in which six families use literacy daily in their lives. Through Taylor’s accessible writing, we get to know families who participate in “idiosyncratic processes” that result in children who are successful in learning to read. Even as they take literacy learning within their families for granted, their literacy histories inform the development of school curricula that build on the literacy knowledge of the children and their families…”
Yetta M. Goodman
From the forward: Family Literacy