This book is a rich, yet highly accessible volume that details an exciting and much-needed inquiry into the notion of literacy: what it is, why it is, and how it might be framed most effectively for 21st century education. The chapters unfold in a creative interplay of practice and theory. Narey's insightful questioning into the socio-historical-cultural implications of "literacy as empowerment" establishes the critical context, while Kerry-Moran's examination of the burgeoning literacy landscape reveals challenges for teacher education. Drawing upon classic and cutting-edge theories, Narey builds a provocative and powerful case for a 21st century construct of literacy as sense-making: sense as relative to the senses (i.e., sight, hearing) and sense as making meaning. Her innovative model of the literacy event opens up a range of potential foci for analysis and facilitates her teasing out of two critical areas for instruction: sensory perception and aesthetic knowledge. This theoretical sense-making lens is applied to Kerry-Moran's teacher education classroom as the authors reflect upon further development. As a timely original and thought-provoking work, this slim volume of big ideas promises to be a valuable resource for teacher educators and other scholars who seek a clear and cohesive frame for literacy in 21st century education.
This is a very well written scholarly text that provides a new and important theory of 21st century literacy. Narey's sketches of literacy as sense-making are laid out in logical form, building upon researched and referenced sources to ground her ideas and offering the reader information, examples and new insights. In addition to providing many significant perspectives underpinning her new theory, Narey provides excellent historical and current explanations about literacy from highly respected researchers in the field. The inclusion of a practical application of Narey's conceptual/theoretical framework to Kerry-Moran's example of an instructional unit in a teacher education course is helpful to understanding the theory in practice. The references throughout the work are extensive, comprehensive and very well documented. This text, Sense-making: Problematizing Constructs of Literacy for 21st Century Education, contributes original thinking to the field of literacy and learning and would be an excellent resource for literacy and language professors or instructors in a post-graduate or professional development program.
Penny Silvers, Professor of Education, Dominican University, USA
1. Sketches as Inquiry, Or How Does a Boa Constrictor Digest an Elephant?.- 2. Starting with the Right Question: Not What Is Literacy, but Why Is Literacy?.- 3. A Dilemma for the Teacher Educator: Navigating the 21st Century Literacy Landscape.- 4. Deconstructing the Literacy Dilemma: Predicating a Search for Clarity and Cohesiveness.- 5. Framing Literacy as Sense-making: A Re-Designed Model of the Literacy Event.- 6. What Does a Redesigned Model of the Literacy Event Mean for Instruction?.- 7. Literacy as Sense-making: Presenting an Available Design for 21st Century Education.