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A Culture of Refusal

The Lives and Literacies of Out-of-School Adolescents

Brett Elizabeth Blake

A Culture of Refusal is a unique attempt at representing a set of what William Ayers calls «multiply-marginalized» adolescents, situating the voices of migrant and incarcerated youth within out-of-school contexts – in the fields and the streets, and ultimately, in the jails – where these youth live and develop their own cultures of refusal. By exploring and analyzing these environments, this book searches for the ways in which a pragmatic, pro-active response to societal and institutional racism and violence may be nurtured through the adolescents’ own lives and literacies.
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Becoming a Teacher

Using Narrative as Reflective Practice. A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

Robert W. Jr. Blake and Brett Elizabeth Blake

Becoming a Teacher revisits the concept of Teacher Lore (Schubert and Ayers, 1992), by providing a cross-disciplinary approach linking elements of narrative theory to all aspects of pre- and in-service teaching. In essence, it embraces the notion that what teachers say matters. The rationale behind this text is the idea that narrative can not only be a conceptual lens through which a particular discipline can be re-examined, but also an aid to help preservice teachers understand the potential importance of personal experience and reflective ways of knowing as they learn to become teachers. In addition, this book serves as a reminder to those of us in teacher education that the very mandates that control so much of our curricula, funding, and publishing decisions can be reconstructed to reflect what we know is good teaching – and what we know works, in spite of standardized testing and accountability measures that declare the opposite.
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A Road Less Traveled

Critical Literacy and Language Learning in the Classroom, 1964–1996


Robert W. Blake and Brett Elizabeth Blake

A Road Less Traveled: Critical Literacy and Language Learning in the Classroom, 1964–1996 takes us through what Robert W. Blake calls the "jaunty journey" of the English/English Language Arts classroom from its linguistic and literature foundations, to emphases on close reading techniques and structures to composing and responding to literature. A Road Less Traveled heads bumpily into the path of learning how to work with "non-native speakers" and other "basic" students toward a (re)-burst of a renewed interest in poetry and drama, reader response, a process approach to writing, and the diverse student, showing through the often winding and blurry road along the journey of our literacy travels over 30 years, that what we understood best about reading and writing has stood the test of time.

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Brett Elizabeth Blake and Robert W. Blake

The Literacy Primer is devoted to the most recent topics in literacy studies, such as the meanings of literacy, the invention of alphabetic writing, a history of reading, the consequences of literacy, teaching the two modes of knowing – literary and informational – and literacy for diverse learners. Each chapter includes a glossary of key terms for students new to the field. A list of selected resources and further readings is provided at the end of the volume. The book is written in a refreshingly straightforward style that is inviting to undergraduate students who might otherwise have difficulty learning about the subject.