Volume 44, Number 2, January 2012
Level(s): College, Middle, Secondary
Volume 44, Number 2, January 2012
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Editorial: Opening the Conversation: NCLB 10 Years Later
Leslie S. Rush and Lisa Scherff
Living the Poet’s Life: Using an Aesthetic Approach to Poetry to Enhance Preservice Teachers’ Poetry Experiences and Dispositions
Janine L. Certo, Laura Apol, Erin Wibbens, and Lisa K. Hawkins
Abstract: In this article, we argue that preservice teachers have limited experience reading and writing poetry, and that if they are to teach poetry in meaningful ways to their future students, they need to have compelling experiences with poetry in teacher education—ones that take into account their former experiences and incoming dispositions and that invite them to begin to live “the life of a poet.” We designed a poetry course for 23 junior and senior elementary, middle school, and secondary school English language arts majors to provide them with such a set of experiences. Although incoming preservice teachers reported limited, often negative, previous experiences with poetry, we found that using what we came to call an “aesthetic approach” improved both their experiences with and their dispositions toward reading, writing, and performing poetry. Using a qualitative research design, we drew on Boyer’s notion of the scholarship of teaching (1990) to address three research questions: (1) What are preservice teachers’ perceptions of past experiences with poetry? (2) What dispositions (that is, attitudes and habits) toward poetry reading, writing, and performance do preservice teachers have? (3) How can an aesthetic approach enhance preservice teachers’ experiences with and dispositions toward poetry? Based on this research, we recommend that teacher education not only include substantive coursework on the topic of poetry, but that the pedagogy of such a course approximate, to the extent possible, practicing poets’ engagement with the genre.
“A Rainforest in Front of a Bulldozer”: The Literacy Practices of Teacher Candidates Committed to Social Justice
Janet D. Johnson
Abstract: This critical ethnographic study explores how two teacher candidates in English education used specific and varied literacy practices to enact their social justice priorities at a troubled high school in a high-need district. Data include interviews before and after the student teaching experience; observations of teaching, blogs, journals, and emails; and coursework required of candidates. Critical discourse analysis was used to analyze the data. The New Literacy Studies and teaching for social justice frameworks were foundational to this research. In addition, the theory of testimonial reading, as outlined by Felman (1992) and Boler (1999), was used to demonstrate how the two candidates worked within and against the system to resist deficit models of their students and ultimately bear witness to their students’ experiences.
Extending the Conversation: English Teacher Education as Literacy Teacher Education
John S. Mayher
Abstract: In Mayher's keynote address from the 2011 CEE Summer Conference at Fordham University, he challenges us to rethink what we do and how we do it.
Extending the Conversation: Writing as Praxis
Robert P. Yagelski
Abstract: In his address from the 2011 CEE Summer Conference at Fordham University, Yagelski challenges us to refocus our efforts at education reform and literacy instruction to emphasize the "humanness of schooling."