Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications

By Daniel Sheridan | Go to book overview

Preface

This new edition of Teaching Secondary English has been a long time in the making. I began planning it in the fall of 1996 and had begun the writing by early 1997. Then came the flood that devastated the Red River Valley of the North in April of 1997. For those of us in Grand Forks (ND), East Grand Forks (MN), and surrounding communities, the flood waters did more than take away our homes; they also altered our work-a-day lives forever, leaving behind a new set of priorities and (for me at least) a new kind of flexibility. Rather late in life, I learned a lesson about the inevitability of change. So in an odd and traumatic way, the flood helped shape the revision of this book. A year was lost, but when I returned to the project I found that I was more willing than before to see the book anew and make some significant changes.

Much, of course, is like the 1993 edition. As the chapter titles indicate, the range of the book is the same. I still think that the best kind of methods text does not try to cover everything. Teaching literature, writing, and language is basic to our profession, and instructors are invited to supplement this book, as I do, with other texts and materials that suit the special interests and needs of their students. The format of chapters is similar: each has a brief introduction in my words, followed by readings and some attempt to apply concepts to teaching situations. About half of the text, as before, consists of an anthology, allowing students to hear the voices of a variety of people with a range of attitudes. And the purpose has not changed. I have always wanted this to be a readable book that balances content knowledge with methodology, theory with practice, problem-posing with suggested solutions.

Still, those of you familiar with the first edition will notice some major changes. For one thing, this book is shorter than the original, unusual in this age of “new and expanded” editions. I hope, too, that the book seems tighter and more usable to you. I made a real effort

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