EN/SANE World

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'll See Ya in Boise!



Wednesday sees me leaving for Boise, Idaho, where I'll give a keynote address to the Idaho Council of Teachers of English. It's gonna be meaty, gooey graphic novel goodness, like butter n' bacon on an Idaho 'tater!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coming Soon!: _MLA's Teaching The Graphic Novel_

As advertised in the recent PMLA, Teaching the Graphic Novel will be available in late 2009. I'm happy to have a chapter on teaching Watchmen in the collection, which has been in production for some time and will include some great work by some excellent comics scholars.

Borderland Zombie Violence!: Announcing _Infestacion_

Here's a press release from some local comics creators whom I beleive will be joining me February 23, 2010 as part of the "El Paso in the Comics II: The Southwest in the Comics" event. :) As you'll see, these local folks are creating interesting comics and engaging in social commentary.

THE SOUTHWEST IS ENGULFED IN AN APOCALYPTIC EPIDEMIC AS THE DEAD WALK! EL PASO AND JUAREZ IN RUINS! ZOMBIE PLAGUE RUNS RAMPANT ACROSS THE BORDERLAND!

WHEN THERE’S NO MORE ROOM IN HELL PASO, THE DEAD WILL WALK THE EARTH!

INFESTACIÓN: THE MYTHOLOGY is a 372 page graphic novel that collects the highly sought after first 6 issues of INFESTACIÓN, the first 4 issues of HELL’S PASS and the one-shot ROAD TO NOWHERE along with extra stories, the origins of the INFESTACIÓN, pinups, series covers, and commentary by all the creators involved.





Adversary Comix is proud to announce the premiere of El Paso/Juarez’s newest comic book horror series: INFESTACION: HELL’S PASS!


We are using “the Border” and the “undead” as social commentary canon to showcase the problems we as Fronterizos are faced with. The divide between ethnicities, the divide between social classes, the growing violence and fears that it may spill unto our streets in the US, and ultimately, using zombies as the biggest divide of all, the segregation between life and death, or un-death as the situation presents itself.

INFESTACION: THE MYTHOLOGY will arrive in comic book stores on Halloween, October 31st having its premiere at Asylum Comics.

But it doesn’t end there; the originators of the story and direct from Juarez, México, 656 Comics will also be on hand at the singing to relate their tales of zombies on the border land!

Book Specs:


Hard cover with dust jacket, 6x9 (digest size), 372 pages, black and white.Pre-order price: $35 ONLY AT ASYLUM COMICS located at 5360 N Mesa St El Paso, TX 79912-5872, PH (915) 875-8600. Shipping of the books will begin late October. In addition to the graphic novel, we’ll be giving away a free 6x9 original sketch from one of the artists featured in the book!


ABOUT THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
INFESTACIÓN: THE MYTHOLOGY is a ground breaking graphic novel set on the border between Mexico (Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua) and the United States (El Paso, Texas), where a zombie plague has taken over both cities and all they have to survive is each other. A border that has now become one between life and death, or un-death.

This area is very conducive to this type of story because it plays on all the fears that we as a people have living in this part of the country. The borders, the different races, the traditions, the growing threat of violence, the land itself, we’re in the middle of a desert here where all we have is each other, but how can we trust one another if we fail to accept the differences we all have?
Of course, its all there, the racial tension, the problems that Chicanos, and Hispanics, and Mexican Americans have fitting in. we also have the social commentary in the form of how we are all separated by these silly social classes that make no sense, how we choose to separate our selves and subjugate our own people, because of our own fear of each other. We don’t know our neighbor, so we’ll keep him at arms length, but as soon as he turns into a zombie, you know who we’ll be putting a bullet into their heads at a moments notice!

IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING THE UN-DEAD RULE!!!!!

This has never been done before where a series has been collected in this manner- two different publishers working together on one tale. INFESTACIÓN or INFESTACIÓN: THE MYTHOLOGY, as it is now referred to, is a 372 page graphic novel that collects the highly sought after first 6 issues of INFESTACIÓN, the first 4 issues of HELL’S PASS and the one-shot ROAD TO NOWHERE along with extra stories, the origins of the INFESTACIÓN, pinups, series covers, and commentary by all the creators involved.
The border has always been considered a no mans land, where the rest of the country turns a blind eye on its problems; INFESTATION takes this premise to the extreme and shows us exactly how people can adapt and grow even in the most adverse situation and in some cases even find happiness.

This is what Jimmy Palmiotti of DC’s Jonah Hex fame thought of our book “filled with more guts and heartbreak than a butcher-shop in a vegan neighborhood. this is a prime example of a lot of different creators having a blast and making some truly horrific comics that make me smile. its worth it for the energy alone. "

About Adversary Comix
Adversary Comix is a local comic book publishing venture that has been around for years but under different names. In fact, Adversary was the FIRST El Paso based comic book company to set its sights on delivering the best story and sequential art in the form of comic books. Adversary Comix strives to bring to the forefront the best local talent has to offer. With books such as EL VALIENTE and BATTERY ACID, Adversary Comix has a stable of talent that can hold its own in the competitive business of the comic book industry both amateur and professional.


More information about Adversary Comix and its products can be found at http://www.myspace.com/adversarycomix


Copyright 2007-2009, Adversary Comix. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks and titles are the property of their respective owners. The statements contained within this document are considered "forward-looking statements" and may not reflect upon the actual future performance of Adversary Comix.

About 656 Comics
656 Comics, el comic hecho en Cd. Juárez, which literally translates to ‘comics made in Cd. Juárez’. This comic collective have been active since forming in 2003. Composed by writers, illustrators, graphic designers, urban artists and lit majors, who have been trailblazing and filling the borderland with stories of mature characters and unpublished themes about the local scene.
656 Comics have independently published over 20 comics in the past few years and worked with various local newspapers, film makers and musicians. Their two main projects; Infestacion: The Mythology a zombie outbreak on the borderland and Karmesi, an ex cop turned vigilante who tries to clean up the corruption and injustices’ of Cd. Juárez.

656 Comics has been accredited countless times with grants and assistance by various national institutions and organizations (Ichicult, Conaculta, Fechac, Conacyt, Fortes, Tec de Monterrey, UACH, UAM) to help spread comic awareness and workshops to help aspiring writers/artists publish their work in a series of anthologies. Some of those anthologies are: El Comiquero, Feminizando la Historieta and Leyendas: una ventana hacia lo desconocido en la frontera.

For more informationon 656:
Myspace.com/656comics
656comics.deviantart.com
656comics@gmail.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two New GN's Focusing on WWII/The Holocaust!

A Family Secret (Eric Huevel) and The Search (Huevel, Ruud van der Rol, & Lies Schippers) are two more graphic novels exploring the Holocaust and WWII.

Jereon is looking for yard sale items in his grandmother's attic as A Family Secret begins, only to find a cache of WWII era letters, clothing, and newspapers. He learns that the life he knows in the Netherlands is vastly different than that of the one known by his grandmother. Helena lived through the German occupation, lost one brother to the war, and, for many years, assumed that she would never see her childhood best friend Esther, a Jewish person, again because Helena's own Nazi-sympathizing father ratted her out. As so often characterizes the WWII era, though, things were not what they seemed, and a happy reunion awaits Helena after Jereon departs her house and just happens to hear a certain guest speaker at an open-air memorial service.


It is revealed that Helena's father wasn't as cruel as Helena might have thought. Instead of giving Esther to the authorities, he helped her escape. The Search is her story.

These books are published with help from the Anne Frank House, the Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam, and the Resistance Museum of Friesland. They are marketed as "stories told from the perspective of modern-day children." There definitely seems to be a desire through these books to craft texts that are accessible to younger children, to expand their options for learning about this era in comics form beyond the weighty Maus.

The full-color art appears inspired by Archie and TinTin, and the young people who learn their ancestors' stories seem realistic enough. While the storytelling is simple, it is informative, and what I like most about these books is that they cover the necessary historical information that most of us "know" while also examining countries and situations that we don't think about so much in regards to the war and genocide but that were just as much a part of the era's exigencies. Reading scenes from the Pacific and learning about how neutral countries such as the Netherlands were affected gave me a fresh and broader perspective. Seeing how the South Pacific evolved from a place of sanctuary to a danger zone deepened my sypathies for a people who, for a while, seemed to find no good place that would allow them to live in peace.

I won't say that these texts are as relevant to the comics form as Maus, but I will say that they offer younger readers -- upper-elementary and middle schoolers -- access to information they need to know and offer all readers perspectives that are often glossed over while studying this dark period of human history.

Each can expand a study of the modern world (1900-1950s) for virtually any class engaging in study thereof, so anything the books lose in stuffy, simplified storytelling they gain in relevance.

A Family Secret is available now. The Search will be available in October 2009. I recommend reading them both, especially if you work with elementary and middle schoolers or with high school students who need highly accessible texts.

_Teaching New Literacies_ Books Forthcoming!

Teaching New Literacies in Grades 4-6 will be published by Guilford Press in December of 2009. While my buddy Chris Wilson covers comics for this edited collection, I was asked to cover editorial/political cartoons. My chapter is co-authored with my wife and is entitled "No Stripping Allowed," though I promise there's no sort of connection between the first fact and the latter. ;)

Here's what the PR from Guilford says about the text:


DESCRIPTION
Upper-elementary students encounter a sometimes dizzying array of traditional and nontraditional texts both in and outside of the classroom. This practical handbook helps teachers in grades 4–6 harness the instructional potential of fiction, poetry, and plays; informational texts; graphic novels; digital storytelling; Web-based and multimodal texts; hip-hop; advertisements; math problems; and many other types of texts. Twenty-four complete lessons promote critical literacy skills such as comprehending, analyzing, and synthesizing information and using writing to communicate new ideas and pose questions. Snapshots of diverse classrooms are accompanied by clear explanations of the research base for instruction in each genre. Ready-to-use reproducibles are included.


KEY POINTS
> Highly practical: provides 23 complete, classroom-tested lesson plans.
> Timely: states require students to read a growing variety of text types.
> Unique: lessons expose students to a broader range of genres than competing titles.
> Genres covered include biography, newspapers, political cartoons, hip-hop, graphic novels, poetry, and plays.


CRITICAL ACCLAIM
“The book moves beyond the basic curricular model of language arts, embracing authentic, purposeful, relevant areas of literacy that are typically overlooked. Classroom teachers, literacy coaches, and university professors alike will be able to find a place for this well laid-out text and the resources and expertise it provides. Examples of innovative and dynamic lessons will make it easy for classroom teachers to apply their new learning with ease. I was so energized that I immediately began sharing information from the book with my intermediate teachers.”


—Cate Stallmeyer-Gerard, MEd, CAS, Literacy Coach, Barkstall Elementary School, Champaign, Illinois

“A valuable resource for upper-elementary and intermediate teachers. The book provides a wealth of useful, research-based information and lessons that will assist educators in their quest of improving student comprehension and learning in the ever-changing world of literacy. This is a resource teachers can pick up, trust, and utilize immediately.”


—Carrie Wessman, MS, fourth-grade teacher, Bruce, Wisconsin

“Very timely. Inservice and preservice teachers need to know how to help students engage meaningfully and critically with multiple forms of text. Moss and Lapp offer a rich and accessible blend of instructional practices and curriculum integration that will enable teachers and students to expand their understanding of new literacies and connect with current technologies. This book is a comprehensive companion to turn to time and again.”


—Gustave Weltsek, PhD, Department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, Indiana University


“A fabulous book! So many upper-elementary teachers have a difficult time engaging students in literacy because they only use trade books and textbooks for instruction. But this book shows that a variety of texts, from comics to hip-hop lyrics to advertisements, can be used effectively for literacy instruction. Teachers will find the lessons in this book easy to use and supported by a strong research base. What is very exciting about the book is its emphasis on content literacy. Any teacher who has wondered how to thoughtfully integrate literacy into math, science, and social studies lessons, and make connections with students’ interests and lives, should buy this book! As a teacher educator, I see this volume as a wonderful resource for the new and experienced teachers in my courses, as well as for professional development workshops in schools. The lessons are very solid and would be useful both for students who need to ‘see’ the inner workings of good literacy instruction and for veteran teachers looking for fresh ideas and texts.”


—Jennifer D. Turner, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland


Also debuting is Teaching New Literacies in Grades K-3, which will also have a chapter on comics from Chris Wilson and will be worth checking out for those who teach younger students.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Comics Gallery Now Available through NCTE's National Gallery of Writing!

I herein formally announce the creation of the "SASSY: Sequential Art Stories Submitted by Youths!" virtual gallery. SASSY is one of the online galleries associated with NCTE's National Gallery of Writing, but SASSY is unique in that it features graphic narratives (comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels) exclusively! Here's the formal description:

Gallery Description: Sequential art narratives -- comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels -- involve advanced writing and composing skills too! This gallery features works of comics art submitted by young people and by those young at heart.

Anyone can submit a work of sequential art to the gallery, but, as curator, I am especially interested in works from students and from classes or programs where comics composing is being taught.

Please spread the word about this gallery. Tell local teachers; share it with your students; encourage talented comics creators in your classrooms to submit. They might just see their work published for the world to admire!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Literacy Accountability in a New-Media Age"

Paul Barnwell writes, "The federal No Child Left Behind Act and standardized state curricula and assessments are stuck on a notion of literacy that does not reflect the reality of our time. Schools are accountable to report how well students read, but we’re testing them on print media only. It’s time for the accountability movement to demand that schools teach and foster responsible student use of new literacy forms."

Good on ya, Paul! It is heartening to know that NCTE/IRA standards do get at multiple texts and types of texts beyond print-based ones. There is actually a lot of talk about media study in the ELA TEAKS, the Texas state standards for ELA. Even early drafts of the new "National" standards get at media literacy to some degree by not rigidly defining "text." Yet, those new standards, or their drafts, anyway, only define ELA as reading, writing, listening and speaking, leaving out visualizing and visually representing. That's a major mistake, but due to wriggle room in the language, one easily remedied by smart teachers. The drafts do mention "multimedia sources," "multimedia comprehension," and "visual elements" and an entire section on media. So, there is evidence that people are listening to people like Paul.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MoCCA Announces Education Director, Adult Education Program

Press releases:

DANNY FINGEROTH NAMED SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT OF EDUCATION AT MUSEUM OF COMIC AND CARTOON ART NEW YORK

(Sept. 16 2009) - As part of its mission of furthering the study and appreciation of comics and graphic novels, the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art - MoCCA - announces the formation of its education department, headed by longtime comics writer, editor, and educator, DANNY FINGEROTH, who will serve as MoCCA's Senior Vice-President of Education.

MoCCA's first educational offerings will be “How to Write Comics and Graphic Novels,” an 8-session weekly course (Tuesdays, Oct. 13 - Dec. 8) taught by Fingeroth and “Storytelling for Comics Artists,” a three-session weekly course (Wednesdays Dec. 2 - 16), taught by legendary comics creator KLAUS JANSON.

Danny Fingeroth was the longtime group editor of Marvel's Spider-Man line and the writer of comics including Darkhawk and Deadly Foes of Spider-Man. He has taught comics writing at NYU, The New School, and Media Bistro. Danny created and edited Write Now magazine, the only how-to publication dedicated to comics writing and writers. He is the author of The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels and co-author (with artist Mike Manley) of How to Create Comics from Script to Print. Danny serves on MoCCA's board of advisors and on the board of directors of the Institute for Comics Studies.

“It's my honor to be involved with making MoCCA the go-to place for all things relating to learning how to create comics and graphic novels,” Fingeroth says. “Its the most natural fit in the world for MoCCA to be not just where people go to see incredible exhibits and presentations about the art, craft and history of the sequential art medium, but where they can also learn the elements of the artform and how to practice them. Our rollout roster of courses aims to give aspiring creators the tools to express themselves in comics form, whether their interests are in superheroes or in idiosyncratic, personal storytelling.”

MoCCA Chairman Ellen Abramowitz says: “We're thrilled to continue a focused comic and cartoon art education program and excited to have Danny Fingeroth on board to lead it. Danny's unique background as comics creator, critic, and teacher make him the perfect person to take MoCCA_s educational efforts to the next level.”

MoCCA Director Karl Erickson says: “MoCCA continues to evolve and our new adult education programs led by Danny Fingeroth are a key part of this growth. MoCCA_s programming continues to serve the cultural community of New York and promote the understanding of comics everywhere.”

For more details, go to www.moccany.org or call 212-254-3511. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to the preservation, study and display of all forms of comic and cartoon art. The museum promotes greater understanding and appreciation of the artistic, cultural and historical significance of comic and cartoon art through a variety of events, exhibitions, and educational programs. The museum is located at 594 Broadway (between Houston and Prince Streets) in New York City. MoCCA is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 12:00-5:00 pm. Suggested donation to the museum is $5 but free for MoCCA Members as well as for children 12 and under (when accompanied by a paying adult). For more information about the museum and MoCCA events, exhibitions and programs, visit the museum's Website (www.moccany.org).

______________
MoCCA ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM BEGINS IN OCTOBER WITH JANSON AND FINGEROTH NEW YORK

(Sept 16 2009) - The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art - MoCCA - is proud to announce the new offerings from its Education Department. Organized and headed by Senior Vice-President of Education, DANNY FINGEROTH, the department's initial offerings will consist of two incredible courses:

HOW TO WRITE COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS: 8 sessions, Tuesdays Oct. 13 - Dec. 8; no class Nov. 24 $495 tuition $445 for MoCCA members DANNY FINGEROTH will lead a hands-on workshop in writing comics and graphic novels. This is an eight-week class whose aim is to teach students, in a supportive atmosphere, how to structure and write comics and graphic novel stories of professional caliber. Combining lectures, assignments in class and at home, and roundtable critiquing, the class will cover writing for all kinds of comics, including
autobiographical, historical, “indy” and superheroes. [No drawing skill is required for this class.]

DANNY FINGEROTH was the longtime group editor of Marvel's Spider-Man line and the writer of comics including Darkhawk and Deadly Foes of Spider-Man. He has taught comics writing at NYU, The New School, and Media Bistro. Danny created and edited Write Now magazine, the only how-to publication dedicated to comics writing and writers. He is the author of The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels and co-author (with artist Mike Manley) of How to Create Comics from Script to Print. Danny serves on MoCCA's board of advisors and on the board of directors of the Institute for Comics Studies.

STORYTELLING FOR COMICS ARTISTS: 3 weekly sessions, Wednesdays, Dec. 2, 9, and 16 $150 tuition $125 for MoCCA members KLAUS JANSON will lead this information-packed three-session lecture and workshop class that will focus on the theory and mechanics of comics storytelling. The lectures start with the philosophy and responsibility of the storyteller, and proceed through the essential topics of page layout and design, the importance of composition, the need for clarity, the benefits of contrast, the creation of a believable environment, and end with a discussion on the merits of the various styles available to the storyteller. The classes will combine lectures, class and at-home assignments, and on-the-spot critiques. Student participation and questions are encouraged. A rare opportunity to discuss and learn from a master of the art and craft of comics.

After a short stint as assistant to Dick Giordano in the early 1970's, KLAUS JANSON went freelance, working for several comics publishers as writer, penciler, inker and colorist. He's worked on projects with John Romita Jr., Grant Morrison, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Gil Kane, John Buscema and many more. Klaus's current projects include: inking several Romita Jr. projects at Marvel; penciling a five-part Daredevil limited series written by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack (to be inked by Bill Sinekiewicz); and penciling and inking a two-part Spider-Man story written by David Morrel. But Klaus is most proud of the course on storytelling that he teaches at The School of Visual Arts and the annual seminars that he holds at Marvel for the editorial staff and their up-and- coming artists.


If you've ever wanted to take your ideas for comics and learn to focus them to create actual stories, then these courses are the perfect place to explore and expand your skills! And wait'll you see what courses and instructors we have coming up!

For more information and to register, call 212-254-3511 or go to www.moccany.org.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Problem with Trusting Company Age Ratings

Lisi Harrison's _The Clique_ YA Novels to get GN Treatment

Yen Press to adapt multimillion dollar-maker.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fun List of Pop Songs Referencing Super-Heroes

Fun, though not exhaustive. Where's Five for Fighting's "Superman/Even Heroes Have the Right to Bleed," after all? "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" from the Spin Doctors? "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" by Paula Cole? Supes is pretty popular among rockers, but the Lone Ranger gets a nod in Cole's song. There's another song that mentions Jimmy Olsen that I just can't think of for anything right now........ It has a lyric like "where are you Jimmy Olsen" or "help us Jimmy Olsen" or something like that. Anyway, "yay music!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Graphic Novel Reporter Updates!

My well-respected colleague Michael Bitz is profiled in an article you won't want to miss! Also, what's this about Shakespeare's heroes fighting Shakespeare's villains?

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Online Comic on Schizophrenia

From the soon-to-be-released Psychiatric Tales (Blank Slate Press) by Darryl Cunningham.

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The Beat Announces Peter Kuper's Tour for Diario De Oaxaca GN


Looks like I've got another must-read. Wonder if this book will actually make it to El Paso. The GN selection in this city is very bad, but maybe there's an audience for this one. Also, for those of you who are mangling the title, It's pronounces Wa-HA-Ca, as best I can tell. My students tell me it is a beautiful part of Mexico.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Charles Hatfield on the State of Comics Studies

My favorite part? Where he says we spend too much time reinventing the wheel. Amen to that!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

ASCD to Host 21st Century Teaching and Learning Conference

Part of the programming will be a showcase of 21st Century learning skills.

NY Times Reviews Stitches

Thanks to MH for the link!

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

PDF of Obama's Speech to School Students

I just want a place to save this for future reference.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Latino Comics Scholar, Author of _Your Brain on Latino Comics_ Profiled

Thanks to M.R. for sharing this article from the SF Gate/ San Francisco Chronicle. Maybe I'll think about getting Dr. Aldama on campus soon.....

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Alan David Doane's New E-Book of Comics Interviews

Conversations with ADD makes available in one place almost 300 pages worth of interviews with the likes of Peter Bagge, Tom Beland, Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Colleen Coover, Renee French, Roberta Gregory, Paul Hornschemeier, James Kochalka, Jason Marcy, L. Nichols, Ted Rall, Johnny Ryan, Seth, Dave Sim, James Sturm, Walter Simonson, Ty Templeton, and Josie Whitmore; writers, artists, publishers and editors, including Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Kurt Busiek, Howard Chaykin, Steven Grant, Tony Isabella, Barbara Kesel, Ron Marz, Erik Larsen, Mark Millar, Denny O'Neil, Harvey Pekar, Sean Phillips, Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, Greg Rucka, Rob Vollmar, Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, Brett Warnock, Barry Windsor-Smith and more.

What a great resource!

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Well-Balanced Times Article on Choice vs. Single Text

For a well-written and balanced look at how English teachers are engaging choice vs. single text considerations, you can't beat Motoko Rich's recent article in The New York Times. Everyone will find something they agree with and something they can ponder. I especially enjoyed this quote from a Harvard GSE professor:

“If what we’re trying to get to is, everybody has read ‘Ethan Frome’ and Henry James and Shakespeare, then the challenge for the teacher is how do you make that stuff accessible and interesting enough that kids will stick with it,” said Catherine E. Snow, a professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. “But if the goal is, how do you make kids lifelong readers, then it seems to me that there’s a lot to be said for the choice approach. As adults, as good readers, we don’t all read the same thing, and we revel in our idiosyncrasies as adult readers, so kids should have some of the same freedom.”