April 2012, Volume 44, Number 3
Level(s): College, Secondary
April 2012, Volume 44, Number 3
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Opening the Conversation: Maintaining Collegiality in Tough Times
Leslie S. Rush and Lisa Scherff
Abstract: Editors Scherff and Rush introduce the issue and its themes.
Exploring the Significance of Social Class Identity Performance in the English Classroom: A Case Study Analysis of a Literature Circle Discussion
Amanda Haertling Thein, Megan Guise, and DeAnn Long Sloan
Abstract: English educators at all levels have endeavored to understand difference in their classrooms both in terms of the content that they teach and in terms of the social and cultural identities of students in their classrooms. However, although educators have come a long way in understanding identity as it is constituted by race and gender, much work is needed for social class identity to be understood with nuance and complexity. This article explores the salience of class identity as it affects one aspect of learning in the English classroom—literary interpretation. Specifically, this article draws on data from a six-week literature circle unit in which four white, socioeconomically diverse students discussed Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina. By examining and uncovering the students’ social class identity performances as they influenced both their participation and interpretations in the literature circle, this article sheds light on the significance of social class identity in the English classroom and makes a case for the importance of a more thorough consideration of social class in teaching and research in English education.
Deficits, Therapists, and a Desire to Distance: Secondary English Preservice Teachers’ Reasoning about Their Future Students
Robert Petrone and Mark A. Lewis
Abstract: This article explores how secondary English preservice teachers reason about their future students and the consequences these systems of reasoning have for their thinking about pedagogy and their roles as teachers. By examining these systems of reasoning, this article helps to denaturalize normalized discourses about adolescence—discourses that oftentimes help to name and positionyoung people in powerful, predictable, and problematic ways. Finally, this article suggests ways English teacher educators might create spaces for preservice literacy teachers to rethink how their experiences with adolescents are always mediated and produced by discourses that authorize how young people are known and acted upon.
Extending the Conversation: The State of English Education: Considering Possibilities in Troubled Times
Shaun Hawthorne, Andy Goodwyn, Marshall George, Louann Reid, and Melanie Shoffner
Abstract: For the “Extending the Conversation” section in this issue, we invited English educators from the United States and abroad to reflect on the state of English education in their countries. All five contributors have interacted through their participation in the NCTE Annual Convention, the CEE summer summits, the International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE) convention, and the NATE conference. We begin with initial thoughts by Shaun Hawthorne, the Deputy Principal at Western Springs College in Auckland, New Zealand; and Andy Goodwyn, a faculty member at the University of Reading in England. Then, Marshall George (Fordham University), Louann Reid (Colorado State University), and Melanie Shoffner (Purdue University) offer a “trialogue” in response. We hope these perspectives give readers insight into international contexts and advance dialogue in English education.