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Sounds from the Heart is about girls-their learning, their social dilemmas, their dreams, hopes, and fears-and one teacher's struggle to help them reach their full potential.
Maureen Barbieri's book takes a careful, deliberate, and often disturbing look at the experiences of a group of adolescent girls as they are nudged into meaningful literacy. Drawing on the work of Nel Noddings, Carol Gilligan, Myra and David Sadker, as well as the theories of Donald Murray and Donald Graves, she asks tough questions about the role of literacy in girls' lives. Do we know what our girls are thinking? Do we make room for their questions in our classrooms? How can we support risk taking at a time when the need to feel safe, secure, and accepted seems uppermost in their minds?
We hear about the obstacles Maureen faces, times when she stumbles along the way and contributes to the "voice training" that women so often inflict on girls. Because she recognizes in herself a desire to avoid conflict at all costs, Maureen must work hard to take on the specific needs of girls. Her students collaborate with her to become curriculum builders as they explore such loaded issues as duplicity, vengeance, and homophobia in their literature and especially in their writing and talking.
Maureen invites readers to ask new questions about curriculum, evaluation, co-education, choice, risk, and conflict. In a final chapter, she examines the more common classroom situation- boys and girls together-and suggests innovative ways to ensure that girls' voices continue to be heard.
Sounds from the Heart is essential reading for any teacher, administrator, or student concerned about the ways girls learn.
Introduction: Learning to Listen
Sometimes I Wish: Figuring Out What Matters Most
Listening Harder: Echoes from the Island
The Curious Ballast: Why We Read Books
Dissonance and Harmony: Talking Things Over
Making Room for Truth: Lessons of Little Tree
A Real Conversation
A Place for the Genuine: Living with Poetry
Let's Remember: Stories of Our Lives
Things Worth Doing: Forging New Connections
Celebrating Possibilities: A Valuable Experiment
What Matters Most: Loving What We Love
Epilogue: Vigilance Renewed
A. Some of the Poetry My Students and I Love
B. Memoirs of Writers We Love
C. Memoir Resources
D. Female Protagonists in Seventh Graders' Reading Choices
School Seventh Graders' Suggested Reading List