involved in how those ideologies benefit some but not others, and using literacy to
transform inequities that emerge within this process (Cervetti et al., 2001; Janks,
2013). The authors of this volume would interpret Obama’s message above as
advocating a critical citizenry where students experience literacy practices that
support their political involvement in a “radical democracy.” The use of popular
culture benefits this latter set of educational goals. As chapter author William
Reynolds argues, it is popular culture that creates “cracks” in the common sense,
providing opportunities for readers to grapple with the complex and critical issues
that arise in contemporary times. A critical reading of Obama’s message above
would support a pedagogy of activism as the means to “shape the law” and the
exemplars provided in this volume provide many examples of the effectiveness of
a complex critical literacy in achieving habits of mind to accomplish productive
social change as part of a rigorous, complex curriculum.
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