Authors In The Classroom: A Transformative Education Process

Authors In The Classroom: A Transformative Education Process

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Cam­poy com­bine inspi­ra­tional exam­ples and prac­ti­cal how-to’s to cre­ate a unique resource for teachers!

Thou­sands of teach­ers have expe­ri­enced the awak­en­ing of their own cre­ative writ­ing voice through par­tic­i­pat­ing in the writ­ing courses and work­shops offered by Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Cam­poy. The rich tapes­try of these teach­ers’ voices is a major high­light of this book. In turn, teach­ers have used their own self-published works to inspire stu­dents and par­ents to write their own sto­ries, and those voices are included in here as well.

In addi­tion to offer­ing a plethora of inspir­ing exam­ples of works authored by class­room teach­ers, par­ents, and stu­dents, this book also includes prac­ti­cal, step-by-step activ­i­ties and a solid ground­ing in the­ory. Writ­ten in a clear and reader-friendly style, this com­bi­na­tion will enable teach­ers to expe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits of this cre­ative approach to build­ing strong class­room communities.

  • Includes 10 the­matic units, with writ­ing starters and activ­i­ties for teach­ers, par­ents, and children.
  • Fea­tures sec­tions on facil­i­tat­ing class­room dia­logue and unlearn­ing oppression/education for liberation.
  • Show­cases abun­dant exam­ples of teach­ers’ self-published books, as well as stu­dents’ and par­ents’ writing.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

This book rep­re­sents the fruits of eight years of joint efforts of encour­ag­ing teach­ers to dare to expe­ri­ence the joy of writ­ing. It has also ben­e­fited from the insights of Rosalma Zubizarreta, Alma Flor’s daugh­ter, who col­lab­o­rated enthu­si­as­ti­cally in the mak­ing of the book.

While most teach­ers feel com­fort­able shar­ing their enthu­si­asm for read­ing with their stu­dents, few feel equally at ease in explor­ing the power of authorship.

The process sug­gested in this book for author­ing self-reflecting books, has been embraced by numer­ous teach­ers who have found that in writ­ing per­sonal books about them­selves, their fam­i­lies, their life jour­ney, and their goals as teach­ers bring about three dis­tinct kinds of benefits:

  1. a greater self-awareness and a pos­si­bil­ity to reeval­u­ate their own voca­tion as educators
  2. greater con­fi­dence and strength to guide their stu­dents in their own process of dis­cov­er­ing of voice
  3. a new rela­tion­ship, of greater trust and equal­ity, with the stu­dents fam­i­lies’ based on shared human experiences

We are extremely grate­ful to the teach­ers, fam­i­lies and stu­dents who have shared with us their works to be included as exam­ples in this book and to all those oth­ers, whose words have not been repro­duced in the book, but who are present in it, through all we have learned from them in the process of teach­ing “Authors in the Class­room” courses, work­shops and sem­i­nars through­out the United States and abroad. We know many of you have been anx­iously await­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of this book and it is a joy to let you know it is finally available.

COMMENDATIONS

This book is nearly per­fect. It will become a clas­sic.” – Stephen Krashen , Uni­ver­sity of South­ern California.

Authors in the Class­room shows us what edu­ca­tion can be and should be: a safe envi­ron­ment for intel­lect and iden­tity to expand and con­nect with the col­lec­tive intel­lec­tual and cul­tural accom­plish­ments of our global soci­ety. As evi­dence for its claims about what edu­ca­tion can achieve this text pro­vides nei­ther empty the­ory nor soul­less empir­i­cal research but rather the voices of teach­ers, stu­dents, par­ents, and the authors them­selves, explor­ing through writ­ing the lim­its of human real­ity and poten­tial.” – Jim Cum­mins, Uni­ver­sity of Toronto.

I want to start by say­ing that this is a pow­er­ful book which was a joy to read. The book pro­vides a much-needed bridge between the­ory and prac­tice of Trans­for­ma­tive ped­a­gogy. It is what every teacher/prospective teacher looks for: a step-by-step guide to putting lofty ide­o­log­i­cal ideals into prac­tice. The exam­ples speak for them­selves about the rich poten­tial of the model.” – Elsa Auer­bach, Uni­ver­sity of Massachusetts—Boston.

REVIEWS

Lan­guage Arts

It is inap­pro­pri­ate to expect teach­ers to develop in their stu­dents skills with which they are not con­fi­dent them­selves,” claim Ada and Cam­poy (p.2). Authors in the Class­room shares years of these authors’ expe­ri­ences work­ing to trans­form teach­ers into authors, “from fol­low­ers of other people’s agenda to shapers of our own ideas.” (p. 4). One of the most odi­ous aspects of stan­dard­ized cur­ric­ula is the instruc­tion of all stu­dents in the same way. In order to reach max­i­mum edu­ca­tional poten­tial, stu­dents; iden­ti­ties need nour­ish­ment. In the first chap­ter, Ada and Cam­poy edu­cate read­ers in anti-bias ethics with infor­ma­tional text and explo­ration that read­ers can con­duct on their own atti­tudes through jour­nal­ing. This coun­ter­play between infor­ma­tion and reflec­tion is the cor­ner­stone of the book.

To live the process advo­cated by Ada and Cam­poy, teach­ers (read­ers) are encour­aged to make their own writ­ing pub­lic by “pub­lish­ing” books; by doing so, they pro­vide mod­els that an instruct and moti­vate stu­dents and their fam­i­lies to write about and pub­lish their own life sto­ries and ideas. Hon­est, accept­ing dia­logues, where indi­vid­u­als ask real ques­tions, express dif­fer­ent points of views, and help teach, model, prac­tice and prob­lem solve, pro­vide class­room strate­gies that under­gird the writ­ing program.

The sec­ond half of the book con­tains ten units on top­ics such as Affirm­ing Self, Under­stand­ing the Past, Cre­at­ing the Future and Learn­ing to Know. There are mul­ti­ple exam­ples of student-, teacher-, and family-authored writ­ing, stim­u­lated by rich children’s lit­er­a­ture in many dif­fer­ent gen­res. Anno­tated bib­li­ogra­phies of books for chil­dren and young adults accom­pany each chap­ter. Using this author­ing process, indi­vid­u­als cre­ate many small books that can be read by oth­ers inside and out­side their class­room. By the time you fin­ish read­ing this cap­ti­vat­ing book, you have no doubt that the stu­dents who have engaged in this process will be read­ers and writ­ers for life. No mat­ter what hap­pens dur­ing the rest of the day, this lit­er­acy for­mat needs to fit between the cracks, for from there it will move to cen­ter stage. — Linda Leonard Lamme, School of Teach­ing and Learn­ing, Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion, Uni­ver­sity of Florida. Lan­guage Arts, Vol. 82, No. 3, Jan­u­ary 2005, page 222

Mid­west Book Review

An unusu­ally well writ­ten and orga­nized edu­ca­tional guide.

Col­lab­o­ra­tively writ­ten by Alma Flor Ada (Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Mul­ti­cul­tural Lit­er­a­ture for Chil­dren and Young Adults, Uni­ver­sity of San Fran­cisco) and F. Isabel Cam­poy (a children’s books author and lan­guage acqui­si­tion expert), Authors In The Class­room: A Trans­for­ma­tive Edu­ca­tion Process is an unusu­ally well writ­ten and orga­nized edu­ca­tional guide aimed expressly at class­room teach­ers seek­ing to improve their own writ­ing skills. Enthu­si­as­ti­cally pro­mot­ing cre­ative lit­er­acy among stu­dents, teach­ers, and par­ents alike, Authors In The Class­room cre­atively and infor­ma­tively explores means for edu­ca­tors to hone their own writ­ing tal­ents, as well as encour­ag­ing the stu­dents to live up to their fullest poten­tial. An excel­lent, reflec­tive, “user friendly” guide, Authors In The Class­room is an invalu­able con­tri­bu­tion to aca­d­e­mic Edu­ca­tion Stud­ies ref­er­ence col­lec­tions. Sep­tem­ber 14, 2003

Amazon.com

Fab­u­lously Rich!, March 15, 2005
Reviewer: Cather­ine Car­ri­son (Van­cou­ver, WA USA) -
Authors in the Class­room: A Trans­for­ma­tive Edu­ca­tion Process is an amaz­ing resource for today’s teach­ers. This book, won­der­fully well writ­ten and orga­nized, guides teach­ers in the process of strength­en­ing the lit­er­acy skills of their stu­dents through the strength­en­ing of their voices. In the first part of the book the authors walk the teacher through a dis­cus­sion of trans­for­ma­tive edu­ca­tion and the role of cre­ative dia­logue in the class­room. The sec­ond part of the book is focused on the jour­ney of writ­ing as it reflects areas of explo­ration such as Rec­og­niz­ing Human Qual­i­ties, Strength­en­ing Self-Identity, Build­ing Com­mu­ni­ties, The Power of Trans­for­ma­tion, Under­stand­ing the Past — Cre­at­ing the Future, and Learn­ing to Know. Ada and Cam­poy vividly demon­strate through the use of beau­ti­ful stu­dent, teacher, and fam­ily exam­ples how the com­mu­ni­ties of the class­room and home can be merged through the medium of writ­ten expres­sion. Per­haps most impor­tant, they show us how pow­er­ful the telling our own sto­ries can be — how our sto­ries can be shared to cre­ate an affirm­ing and fab­u­lously enriched learn­ing envi­ron­ment in our class­rooms for stu­dents, their fam­i­lies, and teachers.

Amazon.com

An unusu­ally well writ­ten and orga­nized edu­ca­tional guide, Sep­tem­ber 14, 2003
Reviewer: Mid­west Book Review (Ore­gon, WI USA)
Col­lab­o­ra­tively writ­ten by Alma Flor Ada (Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Mul­ti­cul­tural Lit­er­a­ture for Chil­dren and Young Adults, Uni­ver­sity of San Fran­cisco) and F. Isabel Cam­poy (a children’s books author and lan­guage acqui­si­tion expert), Authors In The Class­room: A Trans­for­ma­tive Edu­ca­tion Process is an unusu­ally well writ­ten and orga­nized edu­ca­tional guide aimed expressly at class­room teach­ers seek­ing to improve their own writ­ing skills. Enthu­si­as­ti­cally pro­mot­ing cre­ative lit­er­acy among stu­dents, teach­ers, and par­ents alike, Authors In The Class­room cre­atively and infor­ma­tively explores means for edu­ca­tors to hone their own writ­ing tal­ents, as well as encour­ag­ing the stu­dents to live up to their fullest poten­tial. An excel­lent, reflec­tive, “user friendly” guide, Authors In The Class­room is an invalu­able con­tri­bu­tion to aca­d­e­mic Edu­ca­tion Stud­ies ref­er­ence collections.

CITATIONS

In Sweet Com­pany: Con­ver­sa­tions with Extra­or­di­nary Women about Liv­ing a Spir­i­tual Life by Mar­garet Wolff on page 70.

“Using Teach­ers’ Vol­un­teer Expe­ri­ences in the Domini­can Repub­lic to Develop Social Respon­si­bil­ity in Cana­dian Middle-School Stu­dents: An ‘Authors in the Class­room’ Approach,” by Judith K. Bern­hard, Lisa Evans, Yohan­nys Mar­molejo, Teresa Cosentino, The Inter-American Jour­nal of Edu­ca­tion for Democ­racy
http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/ried/

READERS’ RESPONSES


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