Talking Texts with Teachers: A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Secondary English Language Arts Teachers and Their Text Selection Practices
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The texts that teachers choose to read in the secondary English language arts classroom have been an important part of the curriculum development process for teachers of this subject. Teachers have always been interested in what texts are taught in secondary classrooms and at what grade levels. In a phrase: for many secondary English teachers, the text shapes the course. Recently a shift has occurred regarding English language arts curriculum and text selection. For decades ELA curriculum has been dedicated to the canon of literature, which includes works written mostly by white males of European descent. While the exact titles in the canon have changed somewhat over time, even going so far as to include multicultural texts, the ELA classroom has been slow to change its views on which texts are worth reading. Additionally, the adoption of and implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) demand that teachers look more critically at the texts they select for their classrooms. However, the rigor the CCSS demand is often at odds with current best practices regarding text selection, which support a more student-centered approach. Thus, it is of utmost significance to gain insight as to how teachers go about selecting texts for their classrooms, especially within the context of the increased rigor of the CCSS. It is also important to describe both positive and challenging experiences that teachers have had with text selection as a way to perhaps better understand what teachers choose to read and why. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to shed light on the experiences of high school English teachers and their interactions with text selection. Teachers’ stories of experience regarding their text selection practices might help to inform educational stakeholders about curriculum reform, pedagogical traditions in ELA classes, and beliefs about best practices in reading and writing instruction.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the study -- Theoretical framework -- review of literature -- Methodology -- Data analysis: common narrative themes -- Shedding light on experimental narratives through the three-dimensional narrative inquiry framework -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Consent form -- Appendix B. School district research director letter of permission -- Appendix C. Interview one protocol -- Appendix D. Interview two protocol -- Appendix E. Interview three protocol -- Appendix F. Observation matrix