Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Canadian Scholars’ Press
224 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2017
Print ISBN: 9781551309736
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Despite an increase in efforts to promote equity and social justice in educational settings, researchers have found that teachers at the elementary, middle school, and secondary school levels are often unsure how to present social justice issues in the classroom. Inspired by these findings, a team of literacy scholars worked with teachers in schools across Canada to gather qualitative research that revealed possibilities and challenges literacy teachers face when incorporating social justice in their curricula. Rich in examples of contemporary Canadian social justice authors, illustrators, and texts, Challenging Stories offers teachers and teacher candidates strategies for text selection, literacy development, and effective social justice teaching methods. With a foreword by Joyce Bainbridge, this collection is an essential read for students in teacher education programs.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Dr. Joyce Bainbridge


SECTION ONE: Unsettling Our Sense of Place through Reading Canadian Literature

Chapter 1: Aren’t We All the Same? The Challenges of Choosing Multicultural Literature in Historically Monocultural Communities
Geraldine Balzer

Chapter 2: “I Wouldn’t Stand Too Close to This Story If I Were You . . .”: Vancouver Island Teachers Explore Social Justice Issues
Angela Ward, with Allison Balabuch, Lauren Frodsham, Dale Jarvis, Tanya Larkin, Carol Nahachewsky, Katherine O’Connor, Devon Stokes-Bennett, and Alison Preece

SECTION TWO: Encounters between Readers and Challenging Texts

Chapter 3: Multimodal Perspectives on Teaching Canadian Literature for Social Justice
Ingrid Johnston, Karen Jacobsen, and Bill Howe

Chapter 4: Challenges for Teachers and Schools: Creating Spaces for LGBTQ Literature in Schools
Anne Burke and Aedon Young

Chapter 5: The Limits of “Understanding”: Teaching Residential School Stories in the Classroom
Amarou Yoder and Teresa Strong-Wilson

SECTION THREE: Opening Minds: Pedagogies for Social Justice

Chapter 6: A Plurality of Voices for Social Justice: Implementing Culturally Responsive Pedagogies in a Grade 6 Classroom
Anne Burke, Theresa Powell, Shawnee Hardware, and Laura Butland

Chapter 7: Opening Doors, Opening Minds: The Role of the Inquiry Group in Teaching for Social Justice
Lynne Wiltse and Shelby LaFramboise-Helgeson

Ingrid Johnston

Bibliography of Children’s Literature
Author Biographies


“This collection offers a long overdue and nuanced exploration of how educators might tackle issues of injustice and inequity that invariably entail discomfort and pedagogical challenges. The courageous contributors to this volume offer specific and innovative ways to engage in some important but difficult conversations in the classroom, and I highly recommend it to any educator with a passion for social justice.”
—  Darren E. Lund, PhD, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

“The quality of writing, the depth of content, and the precise articulation of theoretical connections between children’s literature and the teaching of social justice make this an outstanding contribution to the current collection of books on this subject. It will be on my bookshelf and my required reading lists.”
—  Kathryn Shoemaker, PhD, Language and Literacy Education and the iSchool, University of British Columbia

“This book offers insight into how the study of multicultural, postcolonial literature can provoke teachers and students to question their deeply held beliefs and assumptions, and to work towards gaining a deep understanding of structural inequalities and social injustices.… Teachers and teacher educators will be interested in the inquiry group model at the center of the research and the rich resource of Canadian literature the book provides.”
—  Susan Tilley, PhD, Faculty of Education, Brock University

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