Teaching through Culture: Strategies for Reading and Responding to Young Adult Literature


by Dr. Joan Parker Webster

ISBN: 978-1-55885-376-8
Publication Date: October 31, 2002
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 224

Effective teaching tool that will validate the teaching of culturally relevant literature in contemporary classrooms.

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In an increasingly multicultural global community, teachers are striving to bring more culturally responsive materials to their classrooms. In this trailblazing text, Joan Parker Webster provides instructors with the basic tools to teach young adults Hispanic literature using selected texts and tailored methods for implementation in classes made up of culturally diverse students.  She has chosen exemplary narrative works from some of the most respected authors of Latino literature.

Teaching through Culture introduces teachers to key texts while providing ancillary information and methods to make teaching and reading experiences effective.  A culturally responsive teacher builds on students’ prior knowledge and employs appropriate styles of communication and interaction to engage students in learning. Parker Webster affirms that the use of texts that provide cultural connections is the most successful way to actively engage diverse learners and improve their comprehension.  When students can see themselves in the stories they read, they encounter familiar ideas and situations, which lessen an often overwhelming and intimidating school environment.

In each chapter, Joan Parker Webster provides the historical and cultural context for each text and applies strategies for understanding and teaching the text in the classroom.  Each chapter is divided into the following sections: Synopsis of the Story, Background before You Read, Reading and Responding to the Story, Working with Words and Connecting across the Curriculum.  Webster presents the works of such authors as Anilú Bernardo, Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Ofelia Dumas Lachtman, Floyd Martínez, and Tomás Rivera.