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2013 January English Education, v45.2

Non-Member Price: $18.75

NCTE Member Price: $6.25

Level(s): College, Secondary

ISBN/ISSN: 0007-8204


English Education

Volume 45, Number 2, January 2013

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Opening the Conversation: The Common Core and Effective Literacy Education
Lisa Scherff, Leslie S. Rush, Allison Wynhoff Olsen, and Emily A. Nemeth
Abstract: The editors look at the CCSS and what they mean for literacy educators. Also included are responses from two doctoral students, Allison Wynhoff Olsen and Emily A. Nemeth, to two of the articles in this issue and to the Common Core State Standards.

“Starting with What Is”: Exploring Response and Responsibility to Student Writing through Collaborative Inquiry
Rob Simon
Abstract: This article examines student teachers’ investigations of issues related to writing pedagogy, response, and evaluation in an English methods course, including their use of descriptive review of student writing (Carini, 2001) to analyze adolescents’ work collaboratively. Beginning with an examination of prevailing understandings of writing assessment and common instructional models in schools, the article explores critical inquiry–based approaches. This research documents how collaborative investigations encouraged student teachers to explore meaning and intentionality in student writing and to regard students as authors with intentionality and purpose. Findings substantiate adolescents’ and student teachers’ intellectual and experiential resources, suggesting how these can be a foundation for expanding conceptions and practices related to writing pedagogy, assessment, inquiry-based teaching, and teacher education.

Competing Centers of Gravity: A Beginning English Teacher’s Socialization Process within Conflictual Settings
Peter Smagorinsky, Darren Rhym, and Cynthia P. Moore
Abstract: This case study follows a teacher candidate through her semester of student teaching English in a suburban high school in the U.S. Southeast. The study is part of a line of inquiry that investigates the factors that contribute to teachers’ development of concepts to guide their instruction. In particular, this research focuses on the mediational role of settings in teachers’ development of a teaching conception and the attributions made by the teacher candidate to the sources for her understanding of how to teach. Data for the research consist of observations and interviews with focal teacher Anita and key stakeholders. These data were analyzed to identify the pedagogical tools used during student teaching and the sources to which she attributed her learning of them. Findings indicate that Anita’s initial conception of teaching was complicated by competing centers of gravity—that is, settings with conflicting notions of effective practice—that pulled her in many different directions, thus making her ability to develop a coherent approach to teaching a challenge. The study concludes with a discussion of conventional linear views of concept development and how attention to the settings of learning to teach can help explain the difficulties of learning to teach in cohesive and consistent ways.

Extending the Conversation: Experience Over All: Preservice Teachers and the Prizing of the “Practical”
Anne Elrod Whitney, Elsie L. Olan, and James E. Fredricksen
Abstract: The authors consider how preservice teachers and teacher educators might broaden their operating notions of experience and practicality to help one another access a wider range of sources of knowledge for their teaching.


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