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This unique and compelling collection of stories emphasizes the challenges and joys of teaching that inspire teachers to commit themselves to a profession that is adventurous, generous, and nurturing. It is the only book of its kind to combine highlights and the analysis of stories written by skilled teachers with a discussion of the history of teaching narratives. The book contains chapters on the history of teaching narratives and the methods used to entice teachers to write their own stories of teaching. This inspires teachers to personalize their own teaching role, to see their own evolution, and to reflect on their experiences and what they have learned. Narratives by Kozol, Rose, Tompkins, and Paley are analyzed and showcased to familiarize readers with the writings of several experts in the field. For use at in-service teacher seminars, or for anyone considering a career in the field of education.
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PREFACE INTRODUCTION TO INSTRUCTORS
We have written this book for people who love great stories of teaching and who believe these stories are a powerful way to learn about the world of education. The stories we have chosen are designed to spark discussion about important educational issues and to provoke teachers to reexamine their assumptions about learning. We seek, above all, to engage and excite our readers and to immerse them, through the vehicle of stories, in the concrete particulars of everyday teaching. The stories explored in this book axe written by superb teacher/writers who paint realistic and vivid portraits of classroom life. Their narratives sharply depict the stirring interactions that make contemporary teaching such challenging and exhilarating work. Furthermore, these stories underscore how much inspiring teachers can accomplish when they retain faith in the ability of learners to master even the most difficult academic material.
We have divided the teachers' stories in this book into six types of genres: narrative of social criticism, narrative of induction and apprenticeship, narrative of reflective practice, narrative of journey, narrative of hope, and narrative of freedom. We devote one chapter to each of the story types and incorporate discussions of at least three distinct narratives in each chapter. In these chapters, we explore the special problems of teaching presented by each genre. In the narrative of social criticism, for instance, we examine stories that highlight major social problems or that advance powerful critiques of schools. In the narrative of apprenticeship, we consider the unique challenges faced by beginning teachers, while in the narrative of reflective practice we focus on the teaching of Vivian Paley and her ability to hone her craft through careful and systematic reflection. The narrative of journey dwells on the autobiographies of teachers who have spent half their lives in education, whereas the narrative of hope reminds us that strategies for sustaining and perpetuating hope are a critical aspect of the craft of teaching. Finally, the narrative of freedom, like the narrative of reflective practice, centers on the lessons of a single, remarkable educator—bell hooks—and her uncompromising commitment to teaching as the practice of freedom.
In all of these chapters, we retell these stories in powerful and compelling ways but are especially intent upon drawing out lessons for novice and experienced teachers alike. A partial listing of the lessons we derive include that the best teachers:
skillfully observe human interactions in classrooms carefully ground their teaching in a vision of a democratic community dedicate themselves tirelessly to their students' growth and welfare maintain challenging but flexible standards and are responsive to their students' individual needs learn constantly from colleagues and students and from their surroundings are stubbornly resilient and relentlessly affirming take risks and learn from mistakes and errors think continuously about their practices use dialogue and storytelling to help their students grow create secure places for learners are first and foremost learners themselves reflect on their own experiences as learners and use what they know about themselves to help others retain faith in the ability of all students to learn cannot conceive of teaching without a foundation in hope believe that human liberation is one of the enduring goals of all teaching ORGANIZATION
Chapter 1 argues that reading outstanding teacher narratives by skilled teacher-writers is an invaluable way to prepare new teachers and to assist veterans in growing professionally. We also make a case for narrative as a way of knowing, and we offer more extensive descriptions of the six narrative forms or genres described above.
Chapter 2 considers teacher narratives from a historical perspective. We discuss eight narratives—four from the 19th century and four from the 20th century—each of which reflects its times. Together they indicate how perceptions of the leading educational challenges changed over time. These narratives become increasingly more focused on the specific problems of educating children well and on the connections between reflective teaching and the shaping of one's professional and personal identity.
Chapter 3 introduces the narrative of social criticism. We focus on four books that should stimulate readers to become more incisive and effective critics of schools. These are Jonathan Kozol's Death at an Early Age and his Savage Inequalities, Marva Collins' Marva Collins' Way, and Ira Shor's When Students Have Power.
Chapter 4 introduces the narrative of apprenticeship and induction. We examine three works that challenge readers to think about the value of educational mentors and the strategies teachers must adopt when such mentors are unavailable. These books are Robert Inchausti's Spitwad Sutras, James Herndon's The Way It Spozed to Be, and Patricia Schmidt's Beginning in Retrospect.
Chapter 5 analyses the relationship between reflection and action through the lens of five narratives of reflective practice by the acclaimed kindergarten teacher Vivian Paley. These books are White Teacher, Kwanzaa and Me, The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter, You Can't Say You Can't Play, and The Girl with the Brown Crayon.
Chapter 6 focuses on the narrative of journey, a genre that is the closest to autobiography and often incorporates many elements of the other narrative forms already introduced. The books we discuss and interpret in this chapter include Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary, Howard Gardner's To Open Minds, and Jane Tompkins' A Life in School.
Chapter 7 acquaints readers with the narrative of hope. This narrative form stresses the notion that education must retain a strong element of hope and faith if it is to have a long-term effect on students. The books examined in this chapter are Herb Kohl's "I Won't Learn from You" and his Discipline of Hope, Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of Hope, and Garret Keizer's No Place but Here.
Chapter 8 introduces the narrative of freedom. This form of narrative focuses on combating racism and promoting freedom as among the chief purposes of education. All of the narratives in this chapter are written by bell hooks, an experienced teacher, a college professor, a prolific author, and one of the leading philosophers of freedom writing today. The works we examine are Teaching to Transgress, Bone Black, and Wounds of Passion.
Chapter 9 is a significant departure from earlier chapters. We return to the issue of narrative knowing but focus our efforts on helping beginning and experienced teachers to think seriously about their own educational autobiographies. We include a variety of strategies and techniques to trigger reflection on past learning and teaching and to encourage readers to emulate the authors discussed in this book. We want teachers to begin to write their own narratives as learners and as educators and to experience the power of writing their own lives.
Chapter 10 synthesizes the findings from earlier chapters and reemphasizes the value of these stories for learning how to teach more effectively and live more fully. Also, we return to the themes of "wide-awakeness" and democracy and to some of the ways in which narratives of teaching can help educators to become the alert, critical, participatory, and caring pedagogues they must be in helping to foster a more just and equitable society.
At the conclusion of each chapter, summaries are included to help students remember key points, and a few brief questions follow to stimulate further dialogue and emphasize recurring themes. USING THIS TEXT
This book can be used as a core or supplementary text in courses focusing on social and psychological foundations of education, curriculum and instruction, introduction to teaching, principles and practices of teaching, directed teaching, or the school in modern society. It would, of course, be ideal as well for more specialized courses focusing on autobiography, narrative, or the literature of educational reform and renewal.
Because this book focuses on the real-life stories of skilled teacher/ writers, we think it offers a unique and valuable perspective on teacher education and professional development. We hope you agree. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Steve Preskill is especially grateful to his coauthor Robin Smith Jacobvitz for her thoughtfulness, generosity, and hard work. This book would be greatly diminished without her fine contributions. Steve thanks his colleagues at the University of New Mexico for their support, especially Michael Morris, Breda Bova, Leroy Ortiz, Richard van Dongen, Tom Keyes, and Jan Gamradt. Special thanks also go to David Grnenewald, a graduate student at UNM who has been a strong booster of this project. Steve extends his gratitude as well to Audrey Thompson and lank Margonis at the University of Utah and to George Otero and Lois Vermilya for being outstanding role models and great colleagues. He is particularly indebted to Stephen Brookfield for being a stimulating collaborator and a wonderful friend. Without the help of Debbie Stollenwerk, this project never would have gotten off the ground. We are most grateful to her. We also want to thank Kathy Davis for coordinating our manuscript into its final product. Finally, Steve dedicates this book to his wife Hallie. Her love and confidence remain his greatest sources of inspiration.
Robin Smith Jacobvitz thanks Steve Preskill for inviting her to work on this book. It has been a privilege to teach and to write with him. She is grateful to her parents, Patricia and Jack Smith, for encouraging her love of books and for bringing home Jonathan Kozol's first book more than 30 years ago. Robin thanks her students at the University of New Mexico for allowing her to be their teacher for almost 15 years. She also thanks her sister Claudia Smith; her brothers Jack and Chris Smith; Marguerite McCormack, Rebecca Reynolds Bannister, Sarah Woods, Jane Walker, Lori Connors-Tadros, and Judy Weinstein for their friendship; and Vickie Emery, Peter Chase, Miriam Levine, and Wayne Shrnbsall for their assistance and good advice. Robin dedicates this book to her husband, Bob Jacobvitz. Without his constant love, patience, and support, it would have been impossible for her to do this work.
Special thanks goes to the following people who reviewed the manuscript: Myra J. Baughman, Pacific Lutheran University; Linda S. Beath, Central Washington University; Mary Lou Brotherson, Nova Southeastern University; Mary Ann Clark, Elms College; Jeanne Ellsworth, Plattsburgh State University of New York; Stephanie Evans, California State University, Los Angeles; Louise E. Fleming, Ashland University; Jane Hinson, State University of West Georgia; James Kauffman, University of South Carolina, Aiken; Johanna Nel, University of Wyoming; Karen Sanchez, Nova Southeastern University; Barbara Stern, Randolph-Macon Woman's College; Laura Wendling, California State University, San Marcos; Ann Whitaker, Northeastern Illinois University. TO THE STUDENT HOW THIS PROJECT GOT STARTED
It was almost 10 years ago when I first discovered the value of skillfully rendered stories of teaching and learning. Like Herb Kohl, who recalled in one of his own narratives a few special times in his life when a book just seemed to be waiting for him to pluck it from the shelf, my intellectual life was transformed one day while perusing Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary. In clean, spare, eloquent prose, Rose tells the story of his life, focusing particularly on his experiences as a student and teacher. As Rose pieces together these details, a portrait emerges of an often troubled and neglected youth who is rescued by a few highly alert and caring teachers. These teachers, along with other mentors, help Rose become a scholarship student and develop into a consummate and dedicated teacher in his own right. In the process of constructing this story in all of its revealing specificity and concreteness, Rose also comments on the failures of American education generally and explores some of the instructional strategies and democratic dispositions needed to set it right. It is an awe-inspiring tour de force.
The pleasure and challenge of Rose's story led directly to my rereading or to reading for the first time Philip Lopate's Being with Children, James Herndon's The Way It Spozed to Be, Eliot Wigginton's Sometimes a Shining Moment, Jonathan Kozol's Death at an Early Age, Vivian Paley's White Teacher, and Garret Keizer's No Place but Here. Still others were devoured as they were published, including Howard Gardner's To Open Minds, Robert Inchausti's Spitwad Sutras, Kohl's "I Won't Learn from You," and Stephen O'Connor's Will My Name Be Shouted Out? These are dramatic tales of growth, failure dampened hopes, rebirth, and renewal. They show in great detail what it takes to teach well and to teach with heart. They underscore the notion that teaching is a terribly challenging profession and that it is impossible ever to get it right. They suggest as well that teaching is a calling of infinite possibility in which each new day is another chance to reach a disengaged student or to help a seemingly slow learner finally live up to his or her potential. They are fundamentally human stories. When told well by the most skillful of writers, they have the power to move us like any great imaginative literature. These stories of teaching are so compelling that you can't wait to share them with others, to single out the most dramatic and powerful parts, and to persuade others to become just as enthusiastic about them as you are.
My affection for these stories led me to assign a few of them in an introductory course for aspiring teachers that I was team teaching with Robin. Robin was already an avid reader of many of these narratives and introduced me to Jane Tompkins' A Life in School, Patricia Schmidt's Beginning in Retrospect, and a number of other powerful stories of teaching. Our mutual interest in these stories eventually inspired us to cowrite a textbook that would introduce new and veteran teachers to these wonderful narratives and help them to see their value as tools for professional development.
RETELLING TEACHER NARRATIVES TO MAXIMIZE
THEIR EDUCATIONAL VALUE
In this book we seek to retell wonderful teachers' stories in ways that will educate and inspire people who care about teaching. We know of many books that claim to value narrative, but few get close enough to the details of the narratives themselves to shed light on why they move us, anger us, or enlighten us. In this book we want readers to feel they are in the presence of these teacher/protagonists, reliving their struggles and their triumphs and taking from the experience a renewed sense of the power and challenge of great teaching. We recommend that you read the narratives themselves, but it is also useful, at least initially, to have someone guiding you through them, underscoring the best parts and interpreting them for their maximum educational benefit. You will be introduced to more than 20 narratives that, in our view, have much to teach about what it takes to grow into teaching. They also alert ...
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Book Description Pearson, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0139212485
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