Spring 2024      Volume 52, Number 2

Professional Development: Teaching for the True Values of Democracy
By Sophie Degener, Adelfio Garcia, Ivy Sitkoski, and Martin Mireles

Document: Column  

Introductory Paragraph:  What is democracy, really? Certainly, different people would come up with different definitions. I recently checked with Dictionary.com and was intrigued by the third through fifth definitions: “3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. 4. political or social equality; democratic spirit. 5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.” For much of our history up through the present time, there have been people who supported those definitions and people who strongly disagreed with them. At this time, the stakes are high, and educators need to take a strong stand in support of those definitions. The books our column features in this issue will help you to do that! One book outlines a framework for antiracist ELA instruction in grades K-12, describes the journeys of teachers who have undertaken the challenge of this instruction, and shares its impact upon students; and another provides guidance for biliterate writing instruction that is asset-based, fosters student reflection on language, and directs students toward language use that serves social justice. A third book offers updated best practices in literacy instruction from familiar literacy experts, with major portions covering the use of those practices to serve marginalized populations, promote equity, and affirm cultural identity; while the fourth book explores literacy’s inherent democratic nature and how it can be advanced in classrooms. You are certain to find inspiration in the pages of these books for the continuing challenge of incorporating democratic values into our teaching.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.33600/IRCJ.52.2.2024.48

Page Numbers:   48-52

The Illinois Reading Council Journal is available for IRC Members.  If you are a current member, please watch your mail and/or email for the current issue to arrive. 

Not an IRC Member?  A highlighted version showing the current issue's table of contents is available online for your viewing.  You can become an IRC Member and order a current copy of the IRC Journal by calling the IRC office at (309) 454-1341 or join online today to receive future issues!