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Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching:

Annotated Biliography (books) on the Scholarship of Teaching

The references below are listed alphabetically, by author. To view a particular reference, scroll down, or select the letter of the author's last name.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Armstrong, Michael. 1980. Closely Observed Children: The Diary of a Primary Classroom. (London: Writers and Readers). In this diary of a British primary classroom, Armstrong studies the intellectual growth of the children he teaches. The title of the book describes exactly how he goes about this. In the intimate relationship of teacher/student he carefully observes, documents, and analyzes the children's learning through their work. Samples of the children's writing, drawing, and pattern work are plentiful and allow the reader to "see" the intellectual growth of the children in the same detail that Armstrong did. In this account, Armstrong chooses to concentrate on "moments of intellectual absorption: those occasions in which the children were engrossed in the subject matter of their activity and evidently concerned with the significance of what they were saying, writing, painting, making, experimenting with, calculating, designing, or inventing." Through this focus on moments of deep engagement in learning, he, at the same time is always evoking in the background of our minds the teaching that engages the children in this way.

Beidler, Peter G. 1986. Distinguished Teachers on Effective Teaching: Observations on Teaching by College Professors Recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass). Beidler says that good teachers are rarely asked what they think are the essentials of their classroom work. The book is organized thematically to address students learning, the role of research, avoiding boredom, and other themes through observations by 20 experienced teachers across many fields. In the closing chapter on "Advice to Novices," Biedler proposes "teaching backwards," in order to clear some space for classroom innovation. That is, "Whenever I can, I try following precisely the opposite of someone else's advice, try teaching just the opposite of whatever is considered the standard way."

Berman, Jeffrey. 1994. Diaries to an English Professor: Pain and Growth in the Classroom (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts). In this book, Berman makes public the journals that his students have written in his college class on literature and psychoanalysis for more than 15 years. These glimpses of students’ lives and learning demonstrate how the classroom can be an opportunity for personal as well as intellectual growth. As journal writing becomes a staple of classes in K-12 schools and higher education, Berman’s willingness to teach us – through his own example – about the inner lives of students has enormous potential for informing our collective understanding of the interactions of students’ lives with what we hope to teach them in schools.

Boyer, Ernest L. 1990. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching). In a book that caught the imagination of many higher education faculty, Boyer – then president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching -- questioned the reward system that pushes faculty toward research and away from teaching. Boyer offers a new paradigm of balancing four general areas scholarship: discovery, integration of knowledge, teaching, and service. While it remains unclear what Boyer meant by a scholarship of teaching, the text helped motivate an important discussion in higher education about how to both value and enhance faculty work in and on teaching.

Cambridge, Barbara. 1999. “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Questions and Answers from the Field.” (AAHE Bulletin, December). Offers brief responses to these questions: “Does scholarly teaching differ from the scholarship of teaching?” “Who does the scholarship of teaching?” “Is this scholarship discipline specific or interdisciplinary?” “What role do students have in this work?” and “How do campuses encourage the scholarship of teaching?” Cambridge is optimistic about the future of the Scholarship of Teaching: “Although they may not have been acculturated through graduate school or their department’s expectations to focus on questions of pedagogy or learning, [many faculty members] have through their teaching posed questions that call for systematic study, questions they really want to answer.”

Denby, David. 1996. Great Books: My Adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and other Indestructible Writers of the Western World (New York: Simon and Schuster). An unusual and timely study because it represents observations and judgments of teaching, and the meaning of the “culture wars,” from outside the professions of higher education. Denby, a film critic, returns as an adult student to the yearlong undergraduate humanities course he took over twenty years before at Columbia University. To his reflections on his new experience with the “great books,” he adds an informal ethnographic account of the undergraduate classroom. He captures many kinds of interactions between teachers and students and learns directly from several professors themselves about practical problems of teaching in general education.

Edgerton, Russell, Pat Hutchings, and Kathleen Quinlan. 1991. The Teaching Portfolio: Capturing the Scholarship in Teaching (Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education). The authors offer practical advice and a conceptual framework for faculty interested in creating a scholarship of teaching. Drawing on the work of Lee Shulman and his colleagues, the authors argue that portfolios should be designed to document and critical examine the "key tasks of teaching." Eight illustrative work samples plus reflective commentary are also included.

Finkel, Donald. 2000. Teaching with your mouth shut (Heinemann). A fascinating rumination on what it takes, in a college setting, to get students thinking and engaging with other students and with ideas. It draws heavily on Finkel's own teaching at the Evergreen State College, much of which has been done in interdisciplinary teams.

Gallas, Karen. 1994. The Languages of Learning: How Children Talk, Write, Dance, Draw, and Sing Their Understanding of the World (New York: Teachers College Press). In this book, Gallas offers a new conceptualization of what a classroom community is, and how it is shaped. Based on her own teaching in Brookline, Massachusetts, Gallas begins the book by explaining her work as a teacher researcher. She then tells stories of her classroom experiences, the narratives that her students created, and what she learned as a teacher along the way. Her goal is to open our minds to what and how students learn: “Clearly, our knowledge of children’s capabilities is limited not by a lack of effort in studying them, but rather by a limited vision of what we study, how we go about it, and in what terms it is discussed.” The book is a model of how a teacher can inquire into, document, and then share with her colleagues a scholarship of elementary school teaching.

Gallas, Karen. 1995. Talking Their Way into Science: Hearing Children's Questions and Theories, Responding With Curricula (New York: Teachers College). Gallas explores a particular aspect of science teaching and learning – what she calls Science Talk. As in her other book (see above), Gallas takes us into her classroom so that we can hear and see how elementary students talk about science. She describes Science Talks as an instructional method, discussing the basics of how one teaches children to engage in such discourse. She describes how children build scientific theories, and the important role of their misconceptions in how they learn science. All teachers interested in teaching science to students, whatever grade level, would finish this book feeling as if they knew more both about the practice and theory of teaching science.

Glassick, Charles E., Huber, Mary T., and Maeroff, Gene I. 1997. Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, San Francisco: Jossey Bass). This book is a follow-up to the earlier Boyer volume. The authors examine the changing nature of scholarship in today's colleges and universities. They propose new standards for scholarship and faculty performance with special emphasis on methods for assessing and documenting effective scholarship. They note, “The academy must confront the central question of evaluation, or it will not be able to renew the vitality of college learning because scholarship will remain too narrowly defined. Academics feel relatively confident about their ability to assess specialized research, but they are less certain about what qualities to look for in other kinds of scholarship, and how to document and reward that work.”

Hall, D.E. (2002). The academic self: An owner’s manual. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. This book began as a conversation within the Modern Languages Association (MLA), during which the author provided graduate students and early career faculty in the humanities with advice about negotiating the early years of an academic career. The book that has resulted is quite different from this initial purpose. Instead, Hall has expanded the scope of his work, resulting in a text in which he advocates for all faculty members to begin interrogating their professional “selves”, owning up to limitations and “…reminding [us] that we must always recognize our own base-level responsibility for critically examining our goals, thoughtfully articulating them, and then carefully planning so that we can achieve them” (p. xxii).

The voice that the author uses in this text is an interesting mix of both an academic career consultant and scholar. His audience includes his academic colleagues. Hall makes generous use of Giddens’ notion of self-reflexivity to emphasize that faculty must engage not only in self-reflection, but reflection about the socially constructed nature of the broader profession. He highlights what he sees as accepted norms and values about teaching, research, service and community, provides “observations and provocations” (p. 11) to jump-start self-reflective activity.

In chapter three he provides some very practical tips on facilitating one’s own writing and teaching practice, emphasizing fundamental time and project management skills. He then talks about how these activities can help faculty members invigorate their work practice. In the concluding chapter, Hall brings the book to a close by sharing his hope that reflecting on the ‘text’ of the self and of the profession result in will result in “…a new sense of collegial respect and support” among academic colleagues.

Although this text does not explicitly cover the scholarship of teaching and learning vis--vis classroom activity, it does provide one individual’s approach to engaging in continuous inquiry into one’s own day-to-day professorial practice.

Hawkins, Frances. 1969. The Logic of Action. (New York: Random House). Hawkins call this a "teacher's notebook." It is the story of her work with six profoundly deaf four year olds. She worked with these children one morning a week for fifteen weeks, as part of a university-sponsored Language Arts program, bringing variety and enrichment to the program using science materials for young children. Without spoken language, action becomes the avenue of learning and communication. The children explore the actions the materials can perform, observing and experimenting with bubbles, water, pumps, flashlights, prisms, balances, and a hamster. And it is through the actions of the children that their engagement and learning is revealed. This exploratory approach to learning stands in stark contrast to the prevailing methods of the school at the time.

Huber, M.T. & Hutchings, P. (2005). The advancement of learning: Building the teaching commons. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Although short in length (149 pages excluding references), this text by Huber and Hutchings provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the concept, practice and representation of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL). The authors suggest that a larger teaching commons has developed, reflecting the increasing public and collaborative nature of the products and processes of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The book is structured quite simply. The opening chapter presents and overview of the history of SOTL. The second chapter identifies the key components of SOTL and is followed by a chapter (chapter 3) identifying specific examples of SOTL practice across the country. The fourth chapter provides and overview of how SOTL practioners often begin to engage in this work, and discusses the role of disciplinary and interdisciplinary networks in supporting this activity.

Chapter 5 provides a lens on how the authors see SOTL changing practice on college campuses today. This reader was disappointed not to have been presented with more concrete examples of campuses that have started to change/re-examine faculty reward systems vis--vis SOTL work. Although the authors do make a statement about findings from a national self-study of CASTL fellows (that asserted that 60% of participating campuses had new policies about rewarding faculty work), the practices of only one campus (University of Notre Dame) were specified.

Chapter 6 poses the following question: Is progress being made in building a knowledge base of SOTL useful faculty across the country? The chapter outlines characteristics of ‘useful’ knowledge representation, and notes the promising nature of electronic outlets. The authors note that the process of building a knowledge base on SOTL is in its early stages.

Finally, chapter 7 poses five general recommendations for future action (excerpted directly from the text):

  • Establish more and better occasions to talk about learning.
  • Students need to be a part of the discussion about learning.
  • Recognize teaching as substantive, intellectual work.
  • Push forward with new genres and forms to document the work of teaching and learning.
  • Build and maintain the infrastructure needed to make pedagogical work of high quality available and accessible to all.

This book is an excellent primer for someone who wants an accessible introduction to the scholarship of teaching and learning. A more advanced student of SOTL would be advised to make use of the extensive footnotes in each chapter that direct the reader to details about empirical, theoretical, and application activity.

Huber, Mary Taylor. 1999. “Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching: Reflections on the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning ” (Unpublished conference paper. Available at the website of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching). An important essay for its focus on disciplinary orientations. “Disciplinary styles empower the scholarship of teaching not only by giving scholars a ready-made way to imagine and present their work, but also by giving shape to the problems they choose and the methods they use.” Huber also recognizes some limits of the disciplinary focus: “One’s own disciplinary style may give direction to one’s own work in this new area, but it can also limit one’s appreciation of other people’s work.” And she looks ahead: “One of the big questions now is whether scholars of teaching and learning can fascinate their disciplinary colleagues as much as they fascinate those from other disciplines working in the same vein.”

Kameen, Paul. 2000. Writing/Teaching: Essays Toward a Rhetoric of Pedagogy (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press). One half of the book consists of essays by members—teachers and students—of a graduate seminar on race and gender. The essays are composed in different forms and focus on the process of teaching in the context of recent theoretical developments in scholarship (e.g., cultural studies). The second half of the book offers, in contrast, an inquiry into Plato as a way to understand today’s dilemmas of the classroom. Kameen probes his own “teacherly identity” and the institutional circumstances that shape his “position” as a professor.

Klein, Julie Thompson. (1996). Crossing boundaries: Knowledge, disciplinarities, and interdisciplinarities. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

In this book, Julie Thompson Klein, an expert on interdisciplinary, the disciplines, and the nature of knowledge, takes an in-depth look at what she refers to as “boundary work.” She considers boundary crossing to be not just a peripheral concern, but as central as boundary formation and maintenance to the production and organization of knowledge (p. 2). Klein asserts that the act of cultivating a relationship between “bounding and hybridity” (p. 57) is central to all interdisciplinary processes.

The first three chapters of the text are theoretically rich and intellectually challenging. In the first half of the text, the reader will find one of the book’s greatest contributions – Klein’s in-depth critique of the rhetoric and practice of interdisciplinarity. She highlights complexities that force the reader to question (and potentially reaffirm) his or her own conception of the meaning and practice of interdisciplinary.

First, Klein cautions against oversimplifying the concept of interdisciplinarity and disagrees with the common assertion that life, by definition, is interdisciplinary. She notes that during “bridge building” (p. 10) or other boundary work, there is often no critical reflection upon the problem of interest, the epistemological assumptions, or logic of the intellectual traditions involved in the collaboration. She suggests that for true interdisciplinary thinking and activity to occur, there needs to be fundamental restructuring of the assumptions that are part of the individual disciplines engaged in the work. At the same time, she emphasizes that the disciplines are not “neat” (p. 55) and easy to define; she recognizes that the complex nature of the disciplines makes understanding the nature of interdisciplinary activity even more complex.

Second, she warns against making interdisciplinarity an “ideology.” She suggests that doing so would promote a model that is rooted in a “monistic concept of the world” which ironically, is the very thing that the “process of disintegration [aims] to stop.” (p. 13) She notes that postmodern critics warn of turning interdisciplinarity into another “grand narrative” that “performs [its] own boundary work of totalizing by asserting greater explanatory power.” (p. 14)

Third, and potentially most provocative, Thompson Klein highlights the paradox of the critical theory function of interdisciplinarity. Noting that interdisciplinary thought and practice highlight the inadequacy of knowledge claims, she cautions that this perspective also makes research more vulnerable to critique by stakeholders outside of the academy who are in favor of (and have the ability to critique) problem-based research. Furthermore, Klein suggests that the increasing drive to solve external problems has the ability to “negate [the] reflexivity” (p. 14) that she sees inherent in true interdisciplinary practice and thought.

After a very conceptual first three chapters, Klein presents several case studies in Chapter 4 (urban studies, environmental studies, borderlands studies, area studies, women’s studies, and cultural studies) to demonstrate the social/institutional as well as cognitive /intellectual dynamics of interdisciplinarity. In Chapter 5, she discusses the societal dynamics of interdisciplinary research specifically, the presence of which has been fueled by technological competitiveness. Throughout the text, Thompson Klein highlights both the visible (e.g. Centers) and invisible (team teaching, learning communities) institutional structures that exist with institutions of higher education to promote interdisciplinary practice and thought. She discusses the structural and intellectual challenges of these networks/webs. She talks about how both historical and current realities have promoted boundary crossing and permeation.

This book is a rallying cry for educators at all levels to recommit to a reflective practice that will force them to question and reaffirm, reject or modify the assumptions and methodologies of their disciplines. In Chapter 6, Klein provides the reader with an “interdisciplinary communicative action” model (p. 223) in which she shares intellectual tools that can serve as a starting point for reassessing learning outcomes for students across the curriculum. Klein also shares planning strategies for institutions considering structuring themselves to support boundary work.

Kreber, Carolin and Patricia A. Cranton. 2000. “Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching” (Journal of Higher Education. 71(4): 476-495). A valuable review of recent work in the field and a contribution to understanding of how scholarship of teaching can be systematically pursued as an activity and subject of inquiry, or “a model that explains how faculty develop scholarship in teaching.” The model itself is based on a theory of “transformative learning” applied to faculty work. The essay also proposes “indicators” to help recognize scholarship of teaching in practice and how it can be evaluated according to established norms of inquiry. “The assessment of the scholarship of teaching, to date, may have stressed outcome measures over the process of knowledge acquisition in teaching. We propose an alternative understanding of the scholarship of teaching, one that considers it to be both learning about teaching and the demonstration of that knowledge.”

Paley, Vivian. 1998. The Girl with the Brown Crayon: How Children Use Stories to Shape Their Lives (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). A wonderful example of the scholarship of teaching. In it, Paley attends to multiple layers of teaching and learning: following one student’s development across a year; looking at how a learning community develops and unfolds; telling the story of an author study (Leo Lionni) and how the children's lives become intertwined with their exploration of literature; explaining how the community gets brought into the curriculum in meaningful ways. It is also a powerful story of how children as young as five years old can grapple with complex, controversial issues. Paley's description brings us inside the classroom and focuses our attention on details that add up to a rich encounter with her class over time.

Palmer, Parker. 1998. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass). Aimed at the activity of “teaching from within,” this book seeks to answer this question and others: “How can I develop the authority to teach, the capacity to stand my ground in the midst of the complex forces of both the classroom and my own life?” Palmer favors many “progressive” positions in education, like the need for “communities” of learning, but not without important qualifications. Thus: “When authentic community emerges, false differences in power and status disappear, such as those based on gender and race. But real differences remain, and so they should, for they are created by functions that that need to be performed if community is to thrive—such as the leadership task of maintaining the boundaries and upholding the standards that define community at its best.”

Pritchard, William. 1995. English Papers: A Teaching Life. Complements the autobiography by Jane Tompkins (below). Pritchard examines his teaching career from the perspective of his experiences in two renowned courses: a graduate course at Harvard and an undergraduate one at Amherst based on well defined principles of reading and writing. Pritchard also recalls the power of the “staff course” as a collaborative intellectual and pedagogical activity. And he worries about the abandonment by the new generation of faculty members in the humanities of important traditions of teaching and learning.

Robinson, Jeffrey C. 1987. Radical Literary Education: A Classroom Experiment with Wordsworth’s “Ode” (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press). An unusual study of the history and impact of a single course. Robinson offers an account of his work in English 200, an introductory literature at the University of Colorado. The key to the course, and indeed to the study of writing and reading and of development and learning, is an understanding of what it means to “revise” a text, one’s view of it, and even oneself as a learner and individual. In the design of the syllabus, the organization of classroom relations with students, and the writing of books based on his teaching, Robinson explores what it means to be a specialist in a particular period and kind of poetry working within and against professional conventions.

Rubin, Louis D. 1997. An Apple for My Teacher : Twelve Authors Tell About Teachers Who Made the Difference ( Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill). Rubin collects stories about teachers from accomplished writers. The essays by Houston A. Baker, Jr., John Barth, Fred Chappell, John Eisenhower, George Garrett, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, Nancy Hale, Alfred Kazin, Mark Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, Max Steele, and Sylvia Wilkinson describe – from the learners’ perspectives – how teachers helped them learn. “It is good,” Rubin writes, “to have this presentation of certain distinguished men and women, most of them unknown to the general public, who gladly learned and gladly taught for their livelihoods.” An interesting alternative way to represent teaching and learning.

Schwab, Joseph J. 1978. “Eros and education.” (In I. Westbury and N. Wilkof (Eds.). Science, curriculum, and liberal education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press). In this classic essay, Schwab discusses the purposes and associated challenges of using discussions as an instructional tool in pursuit of a liberal education. He argues that the teacher must simultaneously attend to the student’s Eros, while also exposing the student to important content and to “ideas unfolding” (how knowledge is created in a field). Schwab shows the reader what happens when one of these aims is meet to the exclusion of the others. The essay offers readers principles for considering their own facilitation of discussions.

Shils, Edward. (Ed.). 1991. Remembering the University of Chicago: Teachers, Scientists, and Scholars (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press). A collection of essays, many by distinguished teachers and scholars themselves, about professors they admired as students or colleagues at the University of Chicago. Literary critic Elder Olson writing about the philosopher Richard McKeon says, “[T]he mark of a truly great professor or teacher lies not only in what is taught or how it is taught but also in what happens in the mind of a receptive student.” Speaking now as mature learners the contributors to this volume illuminate through biography, observation, and anecdote some elements of influential teaching. In a similar vein, see Joseph Epstein (Ed.), Masters: Stories of Great Teachers (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

Shulman, Lee. Visions of the possible annotation: The essay addresses the overarching question: "How can teaching find a right and dignified place in the research university setting?" (p. 1 of 8). Shulman proposes four models for support structures and "sanctuaries" for teaching on campuses. The first model is the teaching academy as an interdisciplinary center. Although faculty might not share the same disciplinary interests, they can congregate around their shared interests in teaching and learning and, in so doing, "overcome intellectual isolation by creating a new, multidisciplinary community of shared interests and work" (p. 1 of 8). In the best cases, scholars would retain "dual citizenship" in both this new entity and their original disciplinary department. One handicap of such centers if that the reward structure is still determined by the disciplinary department, which remains problematic especially around issues of tenure and promotion.

The second model is the teaching academy as an aspect of graduate education. This would entail purposefully structuring graduate education to include attention to learning to teach, as well as learning to be a researcher. One potential advantage/disadvantage is that faculty are not the primary target of this approach, instead, doctoral students are. The third model is a teaching academy organized around technology. In this model, the focus becomes how to use new technologies to focus on student learning. Since most universities both recognize that technology has potential for changing teaching and learning, and there is a nationwide investment in technology, this approach allows the teaching academy to build on a preexisting problem/new focus. Since most questions concerning the use of technology in teaching are also accompanied by questions about the evidence that students have learned something, this is also a strategic site for the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning. The fourth model is the distributed teaching academy, that is, instead of building one place, you build capacity across various parts of an institution.

How might we help scholars of teaching and learning share their work? Several options seem possible. including faculty exchanges, residential fellowships, and forms of documentation (like the Foundations Knowledge Media Lab). Shulman concludes by reminding readers that universities need to reframe the accountability conversation: What are students learning and how do we know? "The university must be constantly and critically asking about its own work, its own efficacy, its own role, vis a vis its students, its community, and its society" (p. 8 of 8).

Shulman, Lee S. 1993. “Teaching as Community Property: Putting an End to Pedagogical Solitude” (In Change 25 (6): pp. 6-7). Shulman argues that, because we remove teaching from community discourse, we compromise how much it is valued and discussed. Shulman goes on to argue that disciplinary and professional communities ought to introduce teaching into their collective conversations. That is, scholars of mathematics ought to talk both about new mathematical ideas and about how to teach mathematics to their students. This would require faculty to document, describe, and explain their experiences teaching, in ways similar to how they document and describe other scholarly endeavors. Shulman suggests that, "We need to make the review, examination, and support of teaching part of the responsibility of the disciplinary community."

Shulman, Lee S. 2000. “From Minsk To Pinsk: Why A Scholarship Of Teaching And Learning?” (The Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In this essay, Shulman argues for a more inclusive definition of scholarship in higher education. He argues that there are three different reasons for such a redefinition: professional obligations, practical responsibilities, and policy issues. We have, he argues, a professional obligation to be good – perhaps even scholarly -- teachers. Pursuing a scholarship of teaching would also help our work: “Such works helps guide our efforts in the design and adaptation of teaching in the interests of student learning.” Finally, as accountability and assessment continue to dominate policy discussions about education – both K-12 and higher education – working on a scholarship of teaching will contribute to those policy discussions. He concludes, “A scholarship of teaching and learning supports our individual and professional roles, our practical responsibilities to our students and our institutions, and our social and political obligations to those that support and take responsibility for higher education. We should be making all three journeys . . .”

Tompkins, Jane. 1996. A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley/Longman). Perhaps the most widely read of recent academic autobiographies, Tompkins’ confessional statement focuses on her efforts to radically change her teaching in the Duke University English Department. Her book complements the autobiography by William Pritchard (above). Tompkins experiments with several new approaches, most significantly a course where students themselves are invited to all decide on in and out of class activities. At the point in the narrative where she begins her teaching career, Tompkins looks back and says: “If nothing else, I wish I had been warned about what an ego-battering enterprise teaching can be. Teaching, by its very nature, exposes the self to myriad forms of criticism and rejection, as well as to emulation and flattery and love. Day after day, teachers are up there, on display; no matter how good they are, it’s impossible not to get shot down. If only I’d known, if only someone I respected had talked to me honestly about teaching, I might have been saved from a lot of pain.”

Wigginton, Eliot. Sometimes a Shining Moment, the Foxfire Experience. A high school teacher describes his language arts curriculum, which involved students in all aspects of producing and publishing a magazine.

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