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Making Room for One Another

Dynamic and Designed Dialogicality in a Kindergarten Classroom


Gerri August

Quoting an abolitionist preacher, Martin Luther King Jr. once said, «The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice». This is true, but the moral arc doesn’t bend on its own. We must lean into the task. Making Room for One Another is the story of how one kindergarten teacher did just that. This critical ethnography lies at the intersection of democratic, transformative pedagogy and differences that impact an urban kindergarten. Drawing largely on discourse analysis, the book explores the interplay between Zeke, the classroom teacher, and his students. The participation, resistance, and discourse patterns of one particular student exemplify the complex nature of social systems in general and emancipatory pedagogy in particular. All educators recognize their responsibility to hone students’ cognitive abilities, to teach students to read and to write and to reason. Making Room for One Another is written for educators who dare ask themselves the question, «Read and write and reason about what? To what end must students read and write and reason?»
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

August, Gerri.Making room for one another: dynamic and designed dialogicality in a kindergarten classroom / Gerri August.pages cm. — (Rethinking childhood; v. 49)Includes bibliographical references.1. Multicultural education—United States—Case studies.2. Kindergarten—United States—Case studies.3. Children of gay parents—United States.4. Critical pedagogy—United States. I. Title.LC1099.3.M24 372.21—dc23 2013046480ISBN 978-1-4331-2296-5 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4331-2295-8 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-4539-1285-0 (e-book)ISSN 1086-7155

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

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