Constructionism and Qualitative Research

My biggest takeaway from this week’s readings on constructionism was the idea that as researchers (particularly as qualitative researchers, but I think it applies across methods), it is critical to be both conscious of and not wholly dependent on context. Crotty (1998) explores this idea within the theory of constructionism, and I like his explanation … Continue reading

Building Adolescent Literacy, Part II: Critical Thinking

In mind-bending metacognitive fashion, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about critical thinking in schools. It is a buzzword that appears on grant proposals, curriculum documents, schools’ promotional materials (k-12 through higher ed!), as well as the mission statements of businesses, educational institutions. In a grand fit of irony few people think … Continue reading

Building Adolescent Literacy

First of all, I greatly appreciate the attention and constant reattention to the fact that the purpose of school is to foster habits of critical thinking and inquiry that students will use in their daily lives. I feel like so many teaching texts and handbooks say this ad nauseum until it becomes meaningless. As Dr. … Continue reading

Role of Reading in English Class

As a teacher I was part of a school district that established a very strong distinction between reading and literature–so much so that I taught two officially different classes: Reading and English Language Arts. I admit that I often had difficulty articulating to my students the differences between the two classes, especially since most of … Continue reading

What is school for?

I created this short documentary for a class on Curriculum Theory and interviewed current UT students about the purpose of school. What do YOU think school is for?

This is Troubling…

I have been mulling this quote over for several weeks now trying to put together a case to disprove it, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to do so. Schooling has been more about discipline than enlightenment, [and] literacy has been more about difference and hierarchy than about universal inclusion. Nonetheless…literacy and schooling have been … Continue reading

LitCrit in High School?

Appleman presents a strong argument for introducing secondary students to the world (and wonders!) of literary theory. I fully support the idea that Language Arts teachers should be in dialogue with the academic literary “establishment” and that there should be overlap in text selection as well as critical material. Her accessible parsings of various critical … Continue reading

The Reader in Fiction, Theory…and Real Life?

Like Sarah, I affirm Rosenblatt’s insistence that a reading be neither enslaved nor licentious but rather a thoughtful, emotional and deliberate response to a text. I think it is initially difficult to accept that there truly will be as many poems “as there are and were and will be readers” (p. 104), and it certainly runs … Continue reading

Transactions with Poetry: a New Critic

From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window panes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet There will be time … Continue reading

Transactions with Poetry: Imagery

I listened to a lot of “Angry Girl Music” back in the day as my introduction to Ani DiFranco, and both she and I have grown a great deal since then. Punctuation and structure below are hers, and I’ll bring an audio version on Monday. school night she went over to his apartment clutching her … Continue reading