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2015 April English Education, v47.3

Non-Member Price: $18.75

NCTE Member Price: $6.25

Level(s): College, Secondary

ISBN/ISSN: 0007-8204


English Education
Volume 47, Number 3, April 2015

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Opening the Conversation: Value-Added Models and Why We Should All Be Worried
Leslie S. Rush and Lisa Scherff
Abstract: The editors discuss the problems associated with using value-added models for assessing teacher effectiveness.

“Looking Back I Can See” Literate Tensions and Changes: A Veteran Teacher’s Cross-Contextual Analysis of His Literate Life
Julie F. Schappe
Abstract: English educators and researchers are essential participants in efforts to explore how literacy is defined and practiced in secondary schools, teacher education, and professional development programs. This article offers a move toward change epistemology (CE) as a framework for literacy research. This discussion provides the case of one teacher who adopted CE during our collaboration to understand the tensions and changes in his literate evolution through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and among contexts including home, school, and professional life. Teachers a repivotal contributors to students’ learning and literacy practices. Research examining how teachers come to know, value, select, and practice literacy will influence student relationships and learning practices. Literacy changes over time and in response to sociocultural life. Literacy research oriented to change epistemologies may open new ways of knowing and value greater diversity to study how individuals come to privilege, marginalize, or modify literacies and literacy practices.

Navigating the Text Selection Gauntlet: Exploring Factors That Influence English Teachers’ Choices
Naomi Watkins and Jonathan Ostenson
Abstract: This article details the results of a survey project that seeks to understand the factors that influence teachers’ decisions about instructional texts in the English classroom. The survey, delivered to 339 teachers in a western state where the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been adopted,asked teachers to identify influential factors in these decisions, to discuss challenges they face in selecting texts, and to speculate about the possible influence of the CCSS on these decisions. The results indicate that teachers attempt to make careful decisions about texts, weighing curricular factors as well as student needs and interests. However, teachers make these decisions in complicated contexts where resources are tight, and practices such as whole-class novel study make these decisions difficult to make well. These results suggest that teacher educators evaluate traditional practices such as the whole-class novel to improve educational practice in English classrooms.

Extending the Conversation: “Inducing Colored Sisters of Other Places to Imitate Their Example”: Connecting Historic Literary Societies to a Contemporary Writing Group
Gholnecsar E. Muhammad
Abstract: In this thought-provoking piece, Muhammad articulates the development of a literacy collaborative for African American adolescent girls, with an eye toward replicating practices adopted by the Female Literary Association of Philadelphia and other similar societies established in the mid-1800s. Muhammad outlines the features of the literacy collaborative and presents the benefits it evoked for participants, including the reading of mentor texts, freedom to write openly without censorship, and uninterrupted writing time.


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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts