Literacy and Popular Culture: Using Children's Culture in the Classroom

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Most children engage with a range of popular cultural forms outside of school. Their experiences with film, television, computer games and other cultural texts are very motivating, but often find no place within the official curriculum, where children are usually restricted to conventional forms of literacy. This book demonstrates how to use children's interests in popular culture to develop literacy in the primary classroom. The authors provide a theoretical basis for such work through an exploration of related theory and research, drawing from the fields of education, sociology and cultural studies. Teachers are often concerned about issues of sexism, racism, violence and commercialism within the discourse of children's media texts. The authors address each of these areas and show how such issues can be explored directly with children. They present classroom examples of the use of popular culture to develop literacy in schools and include interviews with children and teachers regarding this work. This book is relevant to all teachers and students who want to develop their understanding of the nature and potential role of popular culture within the curriculum. It will also be useful to language co-ordinators, advisers, teacher educators and anyone interested in media education in the 5-12 age-range.