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Journal of Adolescent & Adult Lit.We all know that classrooms can be isolated, isolating places where teachers work on their own among students, seldom having opportunities to visit other classrooms or to talk in collaborative ways with like-minded peers. In Why Workshop? Changing Course in 7-12 English, edited by Richard Bullock, nine experienced teachers tell stories of the school year following their participation in an intensive "Change Course!" at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, USA-a year in which, with the support of university instructors, they moved from traditional, teacher-centered classrooms to more democratic, student-centered language workshops.
Both the telling and the reading of these stories break down the walls that isolate teachers from one another. English language arts teachers will find aspects of their own classrooms in these stories, identify shared questions and concerns, and compare their own classroom efforts to those of the writers. Preservice teachers, who imagine themselves delivering well-conceived lesson plans to eager English students, will find these narratives to be informative, if somewhat (healthily) unsettling.