Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications

By Daniel Sheridan | Go to book overview

Preface

What can I say that you don't already know about textbooks? They are useful in providing structure to the course and they offer a second voice on issues of importance, a voice that both teacher and student can argue with. And yet often, perhaps because they try to cover so much, they seem second hand and overly abstract. So after several years of teaching students in various methods courses, I abandoned textbooks and started collecting materials on my own -- articles that said it better than I ever could, materials that raised issues in dramatic ways, handouts that I borrowed shamelessly from teacher friends, all kinds of materials that seemed to work better than the textbooks I had been using.

Ultimately, of course, I found that my pile of handouts was starting to look suspiciously like a textbook, not the standard kind, but the hybrid thing you have before you. Whether or not I have succeeded in minimizing the problems of textbooks -- you must be the judge. I can only say that I have tried: tried to focus on essentials, to include voices besides my own, to provide thoughtprovoking activities, and to write in a readable style.


How This Text Is Organized

As I have said, this book is a hybrid thing -- part anthology, part activities, part discursive text. The readings allow students to hear from some of the best people in the field; some are well known, others are less familiar. Some are here because I agree with what they say; others appear simply because they have important things to say, whether I agree or not. Many of the readings are taken from

-vii-

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Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - English Teachers 1
  • 2 - Teaching Literature 42
  • 3 - Teaching Writing 119
  • 4 - Teaching about Language 197
  • Appendix A - Sample Outline Syllabus 220
  • Appendix B - Description of Contemporary English 222
  • 5 - What to Teach 283
  • 6 - Joining the Profession 365
  • Appendix A - Classroom Activities 375
  • Appendix B - Childhood Toy Papers 381
  • Appendix C - Hundred-Year Birthday Papers 386
  • Appendix D - Early Drafts: Changes in School 395
  • Appendix E - Comparison Assignment: Then-Now/There-Here Papers 400
  • Appendix F - Sentence Exercises 408
  • Index 419
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