Creating Inclusive Classrooms Using Postcolonial and Culturally Relevant Literacy

Gurjit Sandhu

Abstract


This article provides an interesting look at how a group of South Asian Canadian young women take up issues of identity, identities, and identification as they interact with texts by racialized Canadian authors. When texts written by Canadian authors who also define themselves as belonging to ethnic minority groups (such as Dionne Brand, Wayson Choy, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, and Shyam Selvadurai) are seen by Canadian high school students as novelty items, boring reads, or books which incite shame or embarrassment, it is critical that we as educators reconsider our role and influence on the reading experiences of students. To bring marginalized, racialized, and silenced Canadian stories into the centre of our literacy teaching demands responsible and purposeful disruption of familiar teaching methods, privileged curricula, and normalized learning structures. Through research with South Asian Canadian adolescent girls, it became evident that culturally relevant curricula and culturally responsive teaching were key to their engagement, inclusion and development of identity.


Keywords


Culturally Relevant, Literacy, Curriculum, Postcolonial

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