How to Future-focus ELA Teacher Candidates

Big Shifts for Deeper Learning When Scott McLeod, a professor of educational leadership, tweeted a chart of four big shifts future schools will need to make to truly prepare kids for the new future we live in today, I felt a little spark. I’m poking at that spark in this post, to see if there’s something I can use in my work with this year’s […]

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Technology In the Sanctuary: The Story of a Revolution

What happens to the social and cultural foundations of a traditional institution and its members when they are pushed to embrace new technologies of the internet? Or, phrased differently, when these new technologies force their way into the most sacred spaces? If I were talking to educators working to foster new mindsets, practices, and perspectives of teaching and learning, the answer most often would be, […]

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When a Project Gets Sidelined

The room buzzed with voices and movement. Students hovered in small groups around workstations, talking, pointing to the computer screens, gesturing. I had given what I thought was a simple assignment: find images that will bring to life a new layer of meaning in the poem you received at the start of class. It was one of the first classes of the semester in a […]

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I Don’t Know How To Teach Literature

No, that’s not accurate. I can sling the terms around with the best of them: irony, theme, protagonist, point of view…. More difficult, and what I’ve found myself puzzling about over the course of the past week is the question of how I would “teach” kids to tell the difference between literature and its bastard cousins, fiction, popular fiction, or young adult fiction.  One is enjoying a popular resurgence but […]

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The Doctor Is In

  On April 18, I defended my dissertation and, by day’s end, was officially declared a “doctor.” I promptly went into shock. When I encountered the image above, I laughed out loud. That’s it! I thought. Having the image may not have cured the shock, but it’s a start. As I find my feet on this post-doctoral terrain, I plan to delve into some of the ideas I […]

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Thackery in a Bunker?

NCTE 2011 may have ended on Sunday, November 20, but it’s been tumbling in my head since then. Rather than offer a blow-by-blow description of events, I want to pull together some thoughts that continue some from the post that came before this, “Missing Thackery.” I was lucky to have been invited to present on a panel with Jen Roberts and Sarah Fidelibus and coordinated by […]

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