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.
May 2011: The Power of Observation
Submission Deadline: September 24, 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?
October 2011: Looking Past Labels: Engagement, Purpose, and Productivity
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2011
Our culture is replete with labels for people. We label children and adults who have differing academic/cognitive abilities, languages, sexual orientations, races, cultures, economic situations, and physical aptitudes. Sometimes children live up or down to their labels. So, what’s in a label? How do labels help students and how do they hurt them? In this issue, we welcome critiques of the labeling/framing issue. We challenge authors to think past labels to the engagement and strategies they have found to be most successful. We look forward to stories of “labeled” learners who have been productive and purposeful. How have you moved past labels?
To submit a manuscript, email it as a Word attachment to the editors, Carol Gilles and Jennifer Wilson, at TalkingPoints@missouri.edu. Manuscripts are accepted at any time. If you do not receive confirmation within a few days that your manuscript was received, please resend it.