There Again, Common Sense: Rethinking Literacy Through Ethnography

Jacqueline Preston


This article revisits the debate between cultural and critical literacy through ethnography challenging popular academic views in education and literacy. Set in a preschool classroom at the inception of the “No Child Left Behind” initiative, this essay focuses on teaching assistant Marylou Anderson. Her experiences growing up in Appalachia inform a teaching philosophy that differs significantly from her colleagues. Her story invites us to reconsider how “the culture of power” functions as a formidable gatekeeper.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.