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August 2012: Ready for the Real World?

The Common Core Standards and other new education initiatives put the focus on preparing today’s adolescents for “career and college readiness.” But what does it mean to be ready for the 21st-century workplace or for the college classroom? And where does the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake fit into this? In this issue, we want to hear from teachers, school administrators, literacy consultants, reading specialists, and other  readers who have very clear, specific ideas about what “career and college readiness” look like. What activities or lessons do you teach that are tied to “real-world” skills and expectations? Do your students have opportunities to work with local businesses, or learn about careers? What 21st-century workplace skills do you help your students learn? What conversations about work and college do you have with your students, especially at a time of high unemployment rates and unaffordable college tuitions? How do you encourage a love of learning—no matter the purpose—in your students? Deadline: April 16, 2012.

February 2013: Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the English Classroom

February is Black History Month, and we’re interested to hear about how you use culturally relevant pedagogy in your classrooms to address the needs and affirm the resources of your African American students. Made popular by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings in the 1990s, culturally relevant pedagogy recognizes the diverse cultural characteristics of students from different ethnic backgrounds and adjusts teaching methods to account for this diversity. Culturally relevant teachers display cultural competence, or skills at teaching in multicultural settings, often relating curricula to students’ cultural contexts and
backgrounds. What does this look like with your students? What literature do you use? How do you define “culture”? How do you learn about your students’ cultural contexts and backgrounds? And how do you connect student culture to English standards and objectives? Deadline: October 15, 2012

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