Situations: A Casebook of Virtual Realities for the English Teacher / Edition 1

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In this book, Wagner and Larson give teachers a chance to practice strategies through "virtual reality." Each chapter opens with a vivid situation drawn from real-life experience, offering readers the opportunity to think about how they would or do respond to difficult day-to-day dilemmas, such as the student who reveals in her journal that she and a friend are doing drugs or the parent who accuses the teacher of racial bias because of the books she assigns.

The best of current theory and practice comes together here. Although the perspectives represent the leading edge of the profession, they do not ignore the very real constraints teachers face.

Situations will be useful to secondary English teachers who find themselves frustrated by idealistic or theoretical texts that seem out of touch with the problems of today's classroom — problems wholly unlike those known even a decade ago. Preservice teachers will also enjoy this book because of its down-to-earth presentation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Wagner and Larson have written a book long overdue, a book whose ideas I have already called upon several times since receiving it for review.”–Educational Leadership
The authors offer English teachers and education students vivid situations drawn from real life in the diverse classroom. The book gives suggestions on relating to students, the dilemmas posed by computers, and dealing with department mandates, and sparks discussion on the abused student, the disaffected teacher, and second-language learners. Appendices contain the California Reading and Writing Assessment, a transcript of a teacher-student conference, and sample student work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867093452
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 11/21/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 281
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Larson has taught as an English teacher at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, has served Manager of Partnerships at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, and Director of Education at Lincoln Park Zoo. Currently, he is Director of Partnerships at National-Louis University. Larson is a recipient of the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

Betty Jane Wagner is a professor in the College of Education at Roosevelt University and director of the Chicago Area Writing Project. She is an internationally recognized authority on composition instruction and the educational uses of drama.

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Table of Contents

Focus on the Teacher

Defending a Grade

Under Siege

Getting the Interpretation Right

The Tough Grader

The Disaffected Teacher

The Lesson That Flops

The Paper Load

Focus on the Curriculum

The Mandated Language Proficiency Test

The Book They Have Read Before

But Is It Shakespeare?

The Writing Competency Test

Inherit the Wind

Diversity of Heritage

Schedules and Serendipity

From Grammar to Writing?

Untracking, with Marilyn J. Hollman

Focus on the Students

Genius in the Classroom

Sports Hero

Stealing Papers from Computers

Teacher-Student Conference

The Somersaulter

The Concrete Thinker

Second-Language Learners, with Kristin Lems

Focus on the School

Drawing the Line

The Abused Student, with Brenda M. Landau

Student Complaints About Another Teacher

An Attack on the Teacher's Competence

Underwater Welder

Privacy of Student Writing

Equity in Computer Access


A. California Reading and Writing Assessment

B. Memo to the English Department

C. Abridged Transcript of Teacher-Student Literature Conference

D. Assignment for Reader's Notebook

E. Sample Student Work

F. Matrix of Purposes, Processes, and Genres .

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