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Teaching for Democracy
"Choices and Voices: Teaching English in a Democratic Society" is the theme of the November 2013 English Journal. Topics featured in the issue include

  • the role of public libraries in sustaining democracy,
  • how teachers can work to ensure that all students learn to believe in and use their own voices, and
  • the importance of valuing diversity as essential to education and democratic participation.

In this English Journal, authors also consider how students can analyze political language and how teachers can model advocacy using young adult literature. The following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org share more about democracy.

The wisdom and beauty of picture books can be a forceful resource for engaging students with issues of democracy. "Using Picture Books to Teach for Democracy" explains that teaching and learning for democracy should be a transformative experience, and teaching with picture books can help make that happen. Read more about how a wide range of middle grade and young adult literature can be used to teach caring and critical readers in a democratic classroom environment.

Use "Critical Media Literacy: A Pedagogy for New Literacies and Urban Youth" as a basis for an interdisciplinary unit on citizenship, democracy, or the political process.

"I Hear America Sing: Promoting Democracy through Literature" discusses how using blogs, promoting choices, and presenting students with literature that changed a nation show them how to find their voices in a democratic community. See the lesson plan that also uses Whitman's poem as an inspiration.

This article from English Education provides personal narratives from four teachers who have worked to create more democratic classrooms in urban settings.

In Keith Gilyard's 2012 NCTE Presidential Address, "Literacy, Rhetoric, Education, Democracy," he discussed the promise of democratic education, which is the catalyst to enable our nation to make the most of its collective life, something it cannot do without an ever-expanding critical discourse.

"'Remember Most That I Wrote for Democracy': Louise Rosenblatt, in Her Own Words" shares the lasting legacy of longtime NCTE member Louise Rosenblatt.

Attending the NCTE Annual Convention in Boston? Check out some of the sessions on democracy, including "Re-making Citizen Teachers: New Possibilities for Democracy and Social Justice in Teacher Education."

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