The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can Do by Sandra StotskyThe Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can Do by Sandra Stotsky

The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can…

bySandra Stotsky

Paperback | June 14, 2012

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This book is addressed to teachers who know that the secondary literature curriculum in our public schools  is in shambles. Unless experienced and well-read English teachers can develop coherent and increasingly demanding literature curricula in their schools, average high school students will remain at about the fifth or sixth grade reading level-where they now are to judge from several independent sources. This book seeks to challenge education policy makers, test developers, and educators who discourage the assignment of appropriately difficult works to high school students and make construction of a coherent literature curriculum impossible.  It first traces the history of the literature curriculum in our middle schools and high schools and shows how it has been diminished and distorted in the past half-century.  It then offers examples of coherent literature curricula and spells out the cognitive principles upon which coherence is based.  Finally, it suggests what English teachers in our public schools could do to develop a literature curriculum that gives all their students an adequate basis for participation in an English-speaking civic culture.
Sandra Stotsky is professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas and holds the Twenty-First Century Chair in Teacher Quality. She served as editor of Research in the Teaching of English in the 1990s and has taught at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate level.
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Title:The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can…Format:PaperbackDimensions:164 pages, 8.89 × 6.01 × 0.56 inPublished:June 14, 2012Publisher:R&L EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1610485580

ISBN - 13:9781610485586

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Editorial Reviews

This powerful little book is a 'must read' for English teachers, high school principals, and college instructors now confronting the deplorable conditions of illiteracy in this country. It examines how, since World War I, American educators have embraced one literacy strategy after another and failed, ultimately, to present a high-quality, sufficiently challenging literature program to all middle and high school students. Rather than demanding that all students read a carefully designed sequence of classic and contemporary literary works, English teachers have abandoned the close analysis of texts-by word, by line, and by genre-as a fundamental aim of English. The result? An incoherent, overly politicized literature program that is neither developmentally rigorous nor informed by reading and writing experiences that build on and expand our common heritage as Americans.   Few people can speak as authoritatively as Sandra Stotsky on the causes-historical, political and pedagogical-underlying the breakdown we see in the preparedness of high school graduates to enter college able to read analytically while drawing on essential works of imaginative literature, poetry, and non-fiction. As former editor of Research in the Teaching of English, Deputy Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Education, and author of numerous books and articles on reading and language, Professor Stotsky is possibly best known for her work on the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for English Language Arts and Reading, Mathematics, and History. These three frameworks are arguably one of the principal reasons why Massachusetts has, since 2005, consistently led the country on measures of achievement on the 4th and 8th examinations for mathematics and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The rigor of Massachusetts's frameworks and the standards they hold for all students-most notably10th graders who must earn passing scores on the MCAS in order to receive a diploma-are as much a part of the 'Massachusetts miracle' as the Education Reform Act of 1993 itself. Dr. Stotsky clearly knows her subject, and, as her record in Massachusetts shows, she has carried her ideas and recommendations into classrooms with impressive results. This thoughtful study is a no-nonsense appeal for reasonable, authentic, overdue changes in the ways we teach students to read, write, reason, and, ultimately, know the power of a good book.