Deconstructing the 'Literacy Crisis': Scripts, Imagination, Power and Identity
Critically analyzes the empirical basis for recent policy initiatives, and proposes an alternative theoretical framework for analyzing both literacy instruction and educational underachievement.
International Journal of Learning, Volume 8.
Article: Print (Spiral Bound), ISBN: 1863354387.
Article: Electronic (PDF File; 733.385KB), ISBN: 1863354395.
Jim Cummins received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Alberta in the area of educational psychology. He is currently a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research has focused on the nature of language proficiency and second language acquisition with particular emphasis on the social and educational barriers that limit academic success for culturally diverse students. He has served as a consultant on language planning in education to numerous international agencies. His publications include: Bilingualism and Special Education: Issues in Assessment and Pedagogy (Multilingual Matters, 1984); Bilingualism in Education: Aspects of Theory, Research and Practice (with Merrill Swain; Longman, 1986); Minority Education: From Shame to Struggle (with Tove Skutnabb-Kangas; Multilingual Matters, 1988); Empowering Minority Students (California Association for Bilingual Education, 1989); Heritage Languages: The Development and Denial of Canada's Linguistic Resources (with Marcel Danesi; Our Schools, Our Selves, 1990).
A volume that analyzes the educational implications of the Internet was published in September 1995: Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy through Global Learning Networks (with Dennis Sayers; St. Martin's Press). In May 1996, The California Association for Bilingual Education published Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society which focuses on strategies for promoting academic development among culturally diverse students. A second edition of this book will appear in early 2001. In 1997, he co-edited (with David Corson) a volume on Bilingual Education as part of the Kluwer Encyclopedia on Language and Education. In October 2000, Multilingual Matters published his book Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire.
Cummins is also an author of ScottForesman ESL: Accelerating English Language Learning a Grade 1-8 ESL program published in 1996 (other authors are Anna Uhl Chamot, Carolyn Kessler, J. Michael O'Malley, and Lily Wong Fillmore). He is also an author of the Scott Foresman Spanish reading program, Lectura, and has contributed to Scott Foresman Science and Reading programs. In the area of test development he is an author of the Bilingual Verbal Abilities Test (with Ana Muñoz-Sandoval, Criselda Alvarado, and Mary Ruef; Riverside Publishers).
In May 1997, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. In October, 2000, his 1986 paper "Empowering minority students: A framework for intervention" was chosen by the Harvard Educational Review (HER) to appear in the HER Classics Series. This series consists of 12 papers published in HER between 1931-2000 considered to have made particularly notable contributions to education.
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