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2016 April English Education, v48.3

Non-Member Price: $18.75

NCTE Member Price: $6.25

Level(s): College, Secondary

ISBN/ISSN: 0007-8204


English Education
Volume 48, Number 3, April 2016

Editorial: Ubuntu: Calling in the Field
sj Miller

Instruction Matters: Secondary English Preservice Teachers’ Implementation of Cognitively Demanding Writing Tasks
Susanna L. Benko
Abstract: Research on writing tasks suggests that cognitively demanding tasks are important for student learning. Though a great deal is known about high-quality writing instruction, less is known about how teachers, through their instruction, support students to complete tasks at a high level. This qualitative study examines three preservice teachers’ writing instruction to understand how their instruction does—and sometimes does not—support the demands of the tasks that they provided for their students. The findings suggest that preservice teachers’ instruction appears to align with expectations for good writing instruction (e.g., using models), but that they often struggle to enact these practices in a way that supports the complexity of the tasks.

“Perhaps These Are Not Poetic Times at All”: Using Poetry to Cope with and Critique a High-Stakes Teacher Performance Assessment
Kelly Chandler-Olcott, Sarah M. Fleming, and Janine L. Nieroda
Abstract: This study takes a fine-grained look at the inaugural implementation of a high-stakes teacher performance assessment (the edTPA) from multiple perspectives and chronicles how participants used the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry to cope with and sometimes critique the edTPA. Teacher researchers sought to understand multiple perspectives of stakeholders associated with the English education program in which each played a role. Other participants included seven English education teacher candidates and five mentor teachers from candidates’ student teaching placements. Data included lesson plans, instructional materials, and student work from the seminar candidates took during student teaching, email messages among stakeholders, official edTPA communications, field notes, and stakeholder interviews. Findings are organized around the functions of poetry for managing the edTPA revealed by the analysis. The study suggests that reading, writing, and discussing poetry can assist candidates and teacher educators in navigating a high-stakes assessment through reflective practice.

Provocateur Pieces: “My Black Kids Are Not Sub-Pops”: Reflecting on the Impact of Standardized Testing in English Education
Judson Laughter
Abstract: This Provocateur Piece recounts the story of Francis from teacher preparation to her decision to exit the profession after five years. I seek to provide a space for English educators to step back and think about how we prepare and support ELA teachers. Francis was prepared and able to celebrate the diversity of her students, and her classrooms were spaces of equity and respect. And yet, she is leaving the profession. Why? What can we do to keep this from happening?

To the Loud Mouth in Room 114: An Elegy
Jeff Spanke


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