This national crisis needs to be addressed. But how? We hold to the false belief that mastery of the alphabet (Really? Just knowing the names of those 26 squiggles?!?) and a singular focus on vocabulary will reverse Johnny's plight. Yet the research says it isn't so.
Time and again it has been demonstrated that if students' own discourse and knowledge, their assets and strengths, are acknowledged and allowed inside the school door, they do wonderful and important learning.
We all have our list of those words. Not the banned-by-the-FCC ones -- I figure all parents agree that those should probably not be part of a 3-year-old's vocabulary. But words that are loaded, words that are hurtful, words that feel personal.