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Center Events: Speaker Series


Rebecca Akin (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
Representing the Intersection of Teaching and Learning
February 21, 2002

Rebecca’s research and writing about her teaching began as part of her graduate studies at Mills College and continues with her current work as a K-12 Carnegie Scholar. The titles of Rebecca’s publications and conference presentations capture her commitment to the difficult struggle of making one’s own teaching public:

  • Performing Practice: Images of a Teaching Life
  • The Whole as a Piece: Images of Complexity
  • Out of Despair: Reconceptualizing Teaching through Narrative Practice

Rebecca’s essay “On My Knees Again” (Summer 2001 Teacher Education Quarterly) is a wonderful example of a teacher learning from-and-within practice; of courageously raising questions about what she does and how she “knows” as a teacher:

I’ve been focusing my research this year on the structured conversations that take place in my classroom during journal sharing time. I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but I feel that I need to help my students become more comfortable talking about their ideas. This is uncharted territory for me, and I go there feeling very much alone. I’m not totally convinced I’m making good use of instructional time. I often think our conversations are contrived and teacher driven. I usually feel as though I’m pulling teeth. And yet the kids won’t let me skip this daily ritual (p. 8).

Rebecca’s experience with, and questions surrounding, what it means for an elementary classroom teacher to construct a scholarship of teaching promise significant contributions to our ongoing dialogue on the scholarship of teaching.
 

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