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Talking Points Submission Guidelines - Previous Revision

Talking Points is published in May and October by WLU, the Whole Language Umbrella, a conference of NCTE. Talking Points helps promote literacy research and the use of whole language instruction in classrooms. It provides a forum for parents, classroom teachers, and researchers to reflect about literacy and learning. We invite submissions from professionals across the educational spectrum, including classroom teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and educational advocates/activists.

Manuscripts submitted should: (1) be on a topic or issue related to holistic teaching and learning; or (2) present theory and/or research that contributes to the knowledge base for holistic, democratic, and inclusive education. Manuscripts should be no more than 15 pages in length (standard margins, double spaced) and, to ensure a blind review, contain no information identifying the author except on an attached cover sheet.

Upcoming Themes:

May 2010: Emotional and Social Intelligence: The Whole Language Classroom Submission Deadline: December 1, 2009

There is increasing interest in addressing aspects of emotional and social development as part of an integrated classroom curriculum that considers educating the whole child. To many whole language teachers, the idea of creating classroom cultures that are emotionally healthy and collaborative is central to their beliefs and practices. These classrooms allow students and adults to develop relationships that support literacy. In this issue we would like submissions that speak to how emotionally and socially safe classrooms and/or schools are created and sustained.

October 2010: Writing Revisited: The Whole Language Approach to Literacy Submission Deadline: May 14, 2010

When we think of the whole language approach to literacy, it brings to mind a multitude of methods, depending on what is in a teacher’s background and experience. It is the beauty of whole language as a philosophy of learning that gives space for teachers as professionals to try out various approaches. The principles critical to the whole language philosophy are that language is used to express meaning, it is taught in the context ofauthentic work and in a way that values all learners, and it recognizes that assessment is central to the teaching and learning process. We ask that manuscripts address these principles from both practical and theoretical perspectives in a variety of educational settings.Manuscripts submitted should: (1) be on a topic or issue related to holistic teaching and learning; or (2) present the uses of art-based literacy to engage students through mutimodal venues of learning and expression.

May 2011: The Power of Observation
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2010

The idea of "kidwatching,” or informed observation (first coined by Watson and Goodman) is a staple for whole language teachers. It is at the core of assessment and curriculum development and is foundational to successful reading and writing conferences, miscue analysis, and literature study, to name a few.  Erickson reminded us that when kidwatching we must become aware of how we interpret our observations of students and own culturally situated identities. What have you learned recently through observation of yourself and/ or your students? What have you discovered in your "kidwatching"? How have you changed your frames of interpretation because of it? What new ways have you discovered to record children, so that you can use the information in meaningful ways? What place does close  observation play in action/teacher research? How does your documentation move beyond the child to inform parents,administrators and policy makers? How can you make observations even  more critical? How does "kidwatching" mesh with reflection and praxis? Who or what supports your kidwatching? How do we help teachers learn to be close, informed observers of students?

To submit a manuscript, email it as a Word attachment to the incoming editors, Carol Gilles and Jennifer Wilson, at  Manuscripts are accepted at any time. If you do not receive confirmation within a few days that your manuscript was received, please resend it.


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