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Language Arts, Vol. 84, No. 4, March 2007

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 84, No. 4, March 2007

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Inclusive Education

  • Thoughts from the Editors: Understanding Relationships and Contexts that Support Inclusion

    Patricia Enciso, Laurie Katz, Barbara Z. Kiefer, Detra Price-Dennis, Melissa Wilson

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • "There's Two Sides to Every Story": How Parents Negotiate Report Card Discourse

    Jennifer Tuten

    Abstract: Although report cards may seem to be a clear-cut means of communication between teachers and parents, on closer examination they reveal a more complicated interaction. Parents of fourth-graders are interviewed about their children’s report cards to learn their understandings of the language and discuss expectations for their children in school. A Critical Discourse Analysis lens was used to highlight the ways parents interpret the report card and what it says about their child. This study provides teachers and teacher educators an opportunity to gain insight into the valuable perspectives of their education partners.

    Keywords: Assessment, Diversity, Language, Elementary, School-Community Relation

  • Including Students with Special Needs in a Writing Workshop

    Danling Fu and Nancy R. Shelton

    Abstract: This article illustrates not only how students with special needs grew as writers in an inclusive writing community, but also how a fourth-grade teacher systematically structured the learning environment and tailored her instruction to guide her students to develop as writers as well as to improve their language skills.

    Keywords: Diversity, Pedagogy, Writing, Elementary

  • Mission to Mars: Using Drama to Make a More Inclusive Classroom for Literacy Learning

    Brian Edmiston

    Abstract: This article demonstrates how drama can be used by classroom teachers to make classrooms more inclusive for the language and literacy learning of children with disability labels by positioning children as powerful and by creating situations where the children can form identities as competent in language and literacy events and practices. The article is grounded in the analysis of teaching and learning examples from a second-grade classroom comprised of two blind and two visually impaired children who are being prepared for inclusion in a general education classroom. The article provides a definition of drama along with an analysis of some of the competing assumptions about what it means to “include” children with “disabilities” in classrooms. Further, the author shows how teachers can use drama to disrupt power relations among children and provide more focus and support to some children in order to create spaces for all children to engage in language and literacy practices.

    Keywords: Diversity, Language, Pedagogy, Elementary

  • Full Inclusion: Understanding the Role of Gay and Lesbian Texts and Films in Teacher Education Classrooms

    Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth

    Abstract: This paper identifies some of the resources the author has found and used to help future teachers become fully inclusive teachers, particularly of early elementary students. Through sharing these resources—children’s literature, a children’s literature textbook, edited books for teacher educators and pre- and inservice teachers, and a video—the author engages with issues that face teacher educators who are interested in including the perspectives and concerns of gay and lesbian families and students in their literacy education classrooms. In relation to these resources, she asks the following questions: How can teacher educators better prepare their pre- and inservice teachers to address gay and lesbian issues in elementary school classrooms? What kinds of resistance should teacher educators be prepared for from their students? What types of literature and literacy strategies would support a goal of full inclusion?

    Keywords: Diversity, Literature, Elementary, College, Media Studies / Journalism

  • Focus on Policy: Beyond Convictions: Interrogating Culture, History, and Power in Inclusive Education

    Alfredo J. Artiles and Elizabeth B. Kozleski

    Abstract: Inclusive education is a laudable concept and an ambitious reform movement that promises to enhance access, participation, and outcomes for all students. A core strategy to achieve this important agenda is build communities of practice governed by inclusive principles and values. The purpose of this article is to critique several key premises of inclusive education to address culture, history, and power issues. Specifically, we argue inclusive education cannot be achieved nor sustained if it ignores enduring legacies of racial oppression and stratification in U.S. society. We also challenge inclusive education’s assumptions about community membership, identification, and identity changes. Finally, we propose inclusive education must have moral, political, and intellectual dimensions to pursue a transformative agenda that does not merely compel students to assimilate into a mainstream society that is fraught with inequalities.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Research Directions: Seeing Our Lives Intertwined: Teacher Education for Cultural Inclusion

    Mary Louise Gomez

    Abstract: This article investigates the attitudes and feelings of United States public school teachers about those they often see as “others”—people unlike themselves. What does research tell us might be the consequences of teachers’ attitudes and feelings towards students and their families? What can we learn about diversifying the teacher pool from reading the life histories of Latino/a teacher candidates? The author posits that if more teachers could begin to see their lives as intricately intertwined in personal and professional well-being with those people whom we often seen as “others,” we would enrich our present and futures, those of our students, and their families.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Children's Literature Reviews: 2006 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

    Miriam Martinez, Pat Austin, Mailyn Carpenter, Monica R. Edinger, Vivian G. Johnson, and T. Gail Pritchard

    Abstract: The Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts committee is charged each year with selecting 30 notable titles that teachers can use in teaching the language arts—writing, reading, speaking, listening, visually representing, or viewing. Books the committee considers for this annual list are written for children, grades K–8, and include works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, picture storybooks, and books featuring word play. Even wordless books are eligible. The books must have been published within the previous copyright year (2005 for the current list).

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Professional Book Reviews: Exploring the Challenges and Successes of Inclusive Education Efforts

    Kate Edwards, Marilyn Van Dyke, Amy Drahota, and Kim Har

    Abstract: Five titles are reviewed in this column.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Profiles and Perspectives: Kimberly Willis Holt: A Distinctive Voice for Inclusion

    Barbara Z. Kiefer

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • In Closing . . .Voices of Inclusion

    Lauren Atkison, Stephanie Sarnacki, Melissa Wilson, Candee Basford, and Rio Mitchell

    Abstract: This final page is a compilation of voices—including teachers in a preschool for children with special needs, parents of children with special needs, and a child—who remind us of the importance of creating truly inclusive educational settings.

    Keywords: Elementary

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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