Even though I often tried to explain to my seventh- and eighth-grade students the “why” of what we were doing in language arts, I don’t think I understood how important it really was for students to know why they were learning what they were learning until I began teaching future teachers. I now explain the purpose of my teaching to my pre-service teachers. I model for them the importance of the idea that, in a time of standards-gone-wild, we can still have meaningful and purposeful lessons in our classrooms. Today, watching students—future teachers or young adolescents—explore concepts of learning is a beautiful thing. It is the work of thinking about how to create lessons with true purpose and meaning that is different for my teaching today.
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Five years of teaching
Designing Writing Assignments
Author(s): Traci Gardner
Traci Gardner offers practical tips, starting points, and a companion website to help secondary and college teachers design effective writing assignments.
Beyond Reading and Writing: Inquiry, Curriculum, and Multiple Ways of Knowing
Author(s): Beth Berghoff, Kathryn A. Egawa, Jerome C. Harste, Barry T. Hoonan
In Beyond Reading and Writing: Inquiry, Curriculum, and Multiple Ways of Knowing, Jerry Harste proposes an expanded view of literacy; and three other teachers—Beth Berghoff, Kathryn Egawa, and Barry Hoonan—bring us into their classrooms and offer concrete evidence of what can happen when these new ideas are implemented in elementary schools. The authors begin by explaining why inquiry and multiple ways of knowing should be central to literacy and learning. They offer theory-into-practice techniques, insight into how such a curriculum actually worked on a day-to-day basis, suggestions on how educators can better support and understand their students, and, finally, insights the authors gained by undertaking this inquiry.