I want to welcome you to my blog. In this space, I'll be writing about the literacy education issues that are closest to my heart. I care very much about social justice literacy--using literacy to help students make this a better world. For example, one of the areas I care about very much is bullying. Pollack (1998) found that "the National Association of School Psychologists estimated that in the United States, some 160,000 children miss school every day for fear of being bullied" (p. 343, italics mine) (Henkin, 2005, p. 5). By reading, writing, and thinking about bullying, we offer students "the thousands of ethical conversations" they need to grow into strong, literate adults (Henkin, 2005, p. 12). While thinking about these issues, their literacy skills also increase.
As a former classroom teacher (for 18 years) and now as a professor, I've visited many classrooms at all levels and worked with teachers at different levels. We've worked to help students think about ways to deal with bullying by using multicultural literature and literature that deals with social justice issues. In both my books I've included booklists that contain some of these books. Cyberbullying is emerging as a big issue. I'm wondering how teachers and schools are using literacy to confront bullying. Please share any ideas that may be working for you. I'm also interested in students personal stories of how they've dealt with bullying at school. Please join the conversation. Together, we may be able to make a real difference.