For a Better World: Reading and Writing for Social Action / Edition 1

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With For a Better World, Randy and Katherine Bomer present a new vision of curriculum - one that invites students to read with important social ideas in mind and write with the purpose of making the world a better place. Developed in years of classroom experience with diverse children, the book will help more experienced teachers take the next step in their professional growth, while providing newer teachers with a picture of how the largest purposes in democratic education connect to the details of teaching.

A unique, reader-friendly guide for bringing critical literacy into reading and writing workshops, For a Better World demonstrates how to:

  • support students' writing for public purposes and connect their personal writing to important social issues
  • facilitate more meaningful talk in the classroom
  • develop students' language and concepts for discussing significant social and political ideas in response to literature
  • help students inquire into the daily politics of classroom life
  • integrate social studies, writing, and literature in experiential, inquiry-based ways
  • assure that all students have access to a rich and meaningful education for social justice.
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Editorial Reviews

A professional resource worthy of perusal, the Bomers' book challenges classroom teachers to model civic responsibility through action and teach the process to students. Based upon the premise that "learning to use literacy to obtain or accomplish something is a cultural norm and a political predisposition, one that adults must pass on to children," this work proposes methods rooted in the authors' own experiences. Although Randy Bomer's secondary students clearly understand how "keeping a writers notebook is writing to think," a topic covered more in-depth in his Time for Meaning: Crafting Literate Lives in Middle and High School (Heinemann, 1995), this text more closely examines Katherine Bomer's democratic fourth-grade classroom. Samples of student writing abound to illustrate the process used and the struggles encountered. She readily shares questions she had throughout the process in a way that encouraged this reviewer to further her work in the current school year and helped to formulate questions and plans for future classes. When all is done, Katherine asks "what are [our students] learning... if all their excitement and effort come to naught... [and] they are faced... with... their ultimate lack of power?" From tips for generating critical reading and instructions for structuring a democratic classroom "using the language of democracy and justice," through ideas for and examples of student writing for social action, the Bomers' book is for all teachers who want to help their students gain a voice in society. Index. Biblio. 2001, Heinemann, 208p, Winfield
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325002637
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 10/5/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 582,412
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Bomer, author of Building Adolescent Literacy in Today's English Classrooms, is a leader in secondary English/Language Arts teaching whose goals have always been to connect research to classroom practice and to make a literate life possible for every student. As a teacher of first-year college students, he helps young people develop habits of mind that prepare them for further college work. He shares his passion with individual preservice and in-service teachers as a professor at the University of Texas and as the Director of the Heart of Texas Writing Project. As a literacy consultant and former Co-director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he has shared his vision with large groups of teachers nationwide. He has also brought his experience to the entire field as past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and as the author or coauthor of Time for Meaning, For a Better World, and The Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research.

Katherine Bomer, author of Hidden Gems and Starting with What Students Do Best, is one of the field's most gifted writers as well as one of its most gifted teachers of writing. In more than two decades of teaching and consulting, she has used her writers' eye to focus on how craft isn't just an instructional goal but an instructional tool that allows writers to go grow well beyond the range of most publically available assessments. An internationally known consultant and frequent keynote speaker, Katherine began her consulting career with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In addition to Writing a Life, she is the coauthor of the Heinemann title For a Better World (with Randy Bomer) and delivers on-site PD through Heinemann Professional Development Services. A published poet and essayist, Katherine is also coauthor (with Lucy Calkins) of A Writer's Shelf. She began over fifteen years ago as a professional developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. A classroom teacher for ten years, she now works with teachers in elementary and middle schools throughout the country. As a frequent speaker at conferences and institutes, she combines a teacher's practical advice, a writer's love of language, and a powerful plea for social justice. EC0111

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Table of Contents

Back to Basics

Justice in So Many Words

Critical Conversations in Reading

Democracy Beyond Words

Managing Vulnerability

Democratic Classrooms

Noticing the World

Collaboration and Craft

Teachers as Political Agents

Breaking the Silence

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