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2015 January English Journal, v104.3

Non-Member Price: $12.50

NCTE Member Price: $4.25

Issue Theme: Re-thinking “Adolescence” to Re-imagine English

Level(s): Secondary, Middle

ISBN/ISSN: 0013-8274


English Journal
Volume 104, Number 3, January 2015
Issue Theme: Re-thinking “Adolescence” to Re-imagine English

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From the Editors
Julie Gorlewski and David Gorlewski

EJ in Focus: How Re-thinking Adolescence Helps Re-imagine the Teaching of English
Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides, Mark A. Lewis, and Robert Petrone
Abstract: In this framing article, the guest editors provide the theoretical framework for conceptualizing adolescence and adolescents driving this special issue of English Journal. They also describe what they call a youth lens, an approach for reading and analyzing young adult literature that honors the idea of adolescence as a construct.

Speaking My Mind: Dating Ben Franklin: Investigating the Early Years of Historical Figures and Classic Authors
Sharon Kane
Abstract: “Speaking My Mind” invites readers to speak out about controversial issues relevant to the teaching of English language arts.

Precocious Knowledge: Using Banned Books to Engage in a Youth Lens
Alyssa D. Niccolini
Abstract: This piece looks at how banned books can offer an illuminating glimpse into social constructions of “healthy” and “normal” adolescent development. Unease with certain materials and topics in the secondary classroom can offer productive points of inquiry for both teachers and students.

Reading Pop Culture and Young Adult Literature through the Youth Lens
Carlin Borsheim-Black
Abstract: This article describes activities and assignments for using a youth lens to critique dominant images of adolescents/ce in young adult literature and pop culture texts.

Disrupting and Dismantling the Dominant Vision of Youth of Color
Susan L. Groenke, Marcelle Haddix, Wendy J. Glenn, David E. Kirkland, Detra Price-Dennis, and Chonika Coleman-King
Abstract: In this article, ELA and urban teacher educators who have been long-time advocates for and users of young adult literature in their work with beginning English teachers re-think the cultural constructs of “black and brown” adolescence that undergird the genre and guide their work.

Social Media and “Kids Today”: A Counter-Narrative from a US High School
William Kist, Kristen Srsen, and Beatriz Fontanive Bishop
Abstract: An incident of bullying via Twitter in a Midwestern US high school problematizes traditional stereotypes about adolescents and social media, as witnessed by two English teachers at the school who write about their own experiences and implications for English curriculum and instruction.

Illuminating Discourses of Youth through the Study of First-Person Narration in Young Adult Literature
Amanda Haertling Thein and Mark A. Sulzer
Abstract: Grounded in the three-part literary concept of the narrator, the narratee, and the implied reader, this article provides teachers and students with a heuristic for uncovering, attending to, and critiquing assumptions about youth found in the first-person narrative form that predominates in young adult literature.

Using a Youth Lens to Facilitate Literary Interpretation for “Struggling” Readers
Alison Heron-Hruby, Brandie Trent, Samantha Haas, and Zachary Cole Allen
Abstract: This article details the authors’ success in using youth as a construct to facilitate literary analysis skills among high school students who claimed not to like reading and who demonstrated difficulty with reading comprehension. The authors provide descriptions of the analysis activities in which the students participated.

Sex in the English Classroom: Text, Counter Text, and Social Text
Elisabeth Johnson
Abstract: In this article, the author is concerned with the ways conceptions of adolescence and sexuality take hold in and beyond the English curriculum. Through a classroom vignette, she considers some of the ways teachers might make more of moments when sex comes up and when planning interactions about sex with youth.

Re-constructing and Re-presenting Teenagers: Using Media Literacy to Examine Cultural Constructions of Adolescents
David L. Bruce
Abstract: This article describes a class in which media literacy was used as a means for student inquiry into cultural constructedness of adolescents. Students read and critiqued media portrayals of teenagers, then used digital video to re-construct their own complex re-presentations of their adolescent selves.

Youth as Cosmopolitan Intellectuals
Tiffany DeJaynes and Christopher Curmi
Abstract: Two high school teachers examine classroom moments that position youth as cosmopolitan intellectuals and invested community members as opposed to disengaged and disaffected adolescents.

Poem: Claiming Spaces
Kjersti VanSlyke-Briggs

Poem: Hymn Sung at the Completion of the Lesson Plan, 11/12/13
Maria Fischer

Poem: Sonnet for My First-Period, Ninth-Grade Class
J. P. Murphy

Poem: Teachable Moment
Maria Sanchez

A Thousand Writers: Voices of the NWP: The Serious Work of Writing
Anna Smith
Abstract: This column seeks to explore the experiences of National Writing Project teachers as writers, teachers of writing, and educational leaders.

Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book: Will You Go Out with Me? Why First Loves Are Painfully Important to YA Lit
Emilee Hussack and Pauline Skowron Schmidt
Abstract: This column hopes to serve as a space dedicated to conversation about Young Adult Literature and to celebrate adolescents, their reading, and their experiences by reviewing the texts that engage them.

Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom: Reassessing How We “See” Students: The Blessing and Blight of Rubrics (and Software) in Education
Tom Liam Lynch
Abstract: “Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom” seeks to identify the ways in which our teaching and learning lives are influenced by software.

Speaking Truth to Power: Speaking Out in the Public Sphere: Why, What, Where, and How Teachers Can Enter the Fray
Peter Smagorinsky
Abstract: "Speaking Truth to Power" seeks to explore the experiences and possibilities that arise when educators speak Truth to power.

Under Discussion: Teaching Speaking and Listening: Care to Elaborate: Encouraging Students to Build on Others’ Ideas
Lisa M. Barker
Abstract: This column seeks to provide a forum in which we can lean on each other to investigate and improve the quality of our classroom discussion leadership.

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