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Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 46, No. 4, May 2012

Cover Art for Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 46, No. 4, May 2012

Table of Contents

  • Editors’ Introduction: Challenging Simplicity, Embracing Complexity [FREE ACCESS]

    Mark Dressman, Sarah McCarthey, and Paul Prior

  • Standpoints: Why EGRA—a Clone of DIBELS—Will Fail to Improve Literacy in Africa

    James V. Hoffman

    Abstract: This essay raises concerns over the future direction for educational aid designed to promote literacy in developing countries. The essay focuses on the EGRA (Early Grade Reading Assessment)initiative in Africa. At one level, this essay challenges the claims for empirical and research-based support for the EGRA. At a broader level, this essay raises questions regarding the viability ofexporting educational aid efforts to developing countries that are modeled after large-scale, highly prescriptive and mostly ineffective programs from the U.S. context. The essay argues fora reframing of educational aid that promotes research and development efforts that embrace a broadened view of what counts as literacy, a valuing of local contexts and a commitment to beguided by local expertise and problem solving capacities.

  • Emerging Possibilities: A Complex Account of Learning to Teach Writing

    Vicki McQuitty

    Abstract: In order to prepare effective writing teachers, teacher educators need an understanding of how preservice preparation programs, inservice professional development, and the policies and practicesof K-12 schools work together to influence teachers’ writing instruction. This qualitative case study uses complexity theory (Davis & Sumara, 2006) to analyze how one teacher learned toteach writing within and through the emergent, nested, interacting systems of teacher education and the school where she took her first teaching job. Data sources were fieldnotes of her teachingand interviews about her instructional decisions, which were coded using constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and the theoretical lens. Findings indicate the teacher’s understandingof writing instruction emerged through interactions between systems as she reproduced and recombined the ideas, values, goals, and activities she encountered within her undergraduate andgraduate courses, her school district, and her sixth-grade classroom. The study concludes with discussions of the dynamics of learning to teach writing that emerged through the research andthe implications of these dynamics for teacher education, educational policy, and future research.

  • Audience and Authority in the Professional Writing of Teacher-Authors

    Anne Elrod Whitney, Katie Anderson, Christine Dawson, Suyoung Kang, Elsie Olan Rios, Nicole Olcese, and Michael Ridgeman

    Abstract: This article discusses the ways issues of audience and authority are encountered and addressed by classroom teachers who write journal articles for publication. Drawing on an interview studyof K-12 classroom teachers who have published articles in NCTE’s journals Language Arts, Voices from the Middle, and English Journal, we show that teachers developed and deployedstrikingly different conceptions of audience at different points in their composing process. Before and after writing, they acknowledged the wide and mixed readership of those journals, includinguniversity-based scholars; however, while drafting their articles they thought about a much more limited group of “teachers like them.” In doing so, these teacher-authors found a concrete way tonavigate the contested place of classroom teachers in wider education discourses. We highlight two major implications of this work. First, it complicates the standard advice to writers to “know youraudience,” showing instead how considerations of audience are closely linked to questions of one’s status relative to members of that audience. Second, our work might complicate understandings oflegitimate peripheral participation and how members of communities of practice are positioned relative to one another vis-à-vis authority: teacher-authors manipulated notions of authority,temporarily redefining some readers as more central and others as more peripheral, in ways that shifted according to the authority stances those definitions allowed them to take in composing.

  • Announcements [FREE ACCESS}

  • Guest Reviewers

  • Author and Subject Index [FREE ACCESS]

* 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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