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Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-Imagining the Language Arts Classroom Paperback – June 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0942961430 ISBN-10: 0942961439 Edition: 1st

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Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-Imagining the Language Arts Classroom + Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word + In the Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Rethinking Schools; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942961439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942961430
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Linda Christensen creates passionate curriculum, centered on the lives and voices of her students. In Teaching for Joy and Justice she shows us how her students come to celebrate their own writing, value themselves, and stand up for others. Writing is embedded in curriculum that matters, in discussion about big ideas, and in literature rich with the full range of human experience. It's a language arts teacher must-read! --Allen Webb, Professor of English Education, Western Michigan University and author of Literature and Lives and Literature and the Web

In these pages, Linda Christensen consummate teacher and brilliant writer shows us that, in the end, teaching well is about awakening and transformation. Through lively vignettes and stirring writing by both teacher and students, this book exudes hope and possibility. --Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Why We Teach and What Keeps Teachers Going?

Teaching for Joy and Justice gives teachers the inspiration and 'how to' nitty-gritty we crave. We find names of texts that compel, high school student writing that calls out to teenage reality, techniques for teaching how to write poems, narratives, essays. And everything presented sits resolutely under the social justice umbrella: issues of race, class, language, gender -- oh yes, they do matter. --Faye Peitzman, Director, UCLA Writing Project

About the Author

Linda Christensen is Director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. During her thirty year career in Portland Public Schools, she taught Language Arts at Jefferson and Grant High Schools and worked as Portland's Language Arts Coordinator. She is the author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching for Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word, and co-editor of Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice and Rethinking School Reform: Views from the Classroom. She is a member of the Rethinking Schools magazine editorial board. Christensen's articles have appeared in English Journal, Language Arts, Educational Leadership, Democracy and Education, and numerous other national publications. The National Writing Project awarded Christensen the Fred Hechinger Award for use of research in teaching and writing. She was named the Western States Teacher of the Year by the U.S. West Foundation. She has received numerous writing awards from the National Council of Teachers of English and the Oregon Council of Teachers of English. Christensen frequently presents keynotes and workshops on such topics as writing, social justice education, and curriculum development nationally and internationally.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Bluebelle on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a required text for a graduate-level English Education course I am taking this semester, and quickly realized that this is a fantastic text about teaching writing from a social justice perspective.

Linda Christensen, a veteran English/Language Arts teacher (or, as she puts it in the introduction, "a social justice educator in a language arts classroom"), enthusiastically shares her classroom-tested ideas for making writing instruction a central part of the curriculum by empowering students of all backgrounds and skill levels to write about their lives and experiences. She discusses ways to teach writing genres (poetry, narrative writing, and essays), ways to link writing instruction to literature, the relationship between language and power, and her philosophy regarding responding to and grading student work. Additionally, Christensen provides several examples of student work throughout the text to complement and illustrate her points. Even when addressing complex, theoretical concepts, the book remains easy to read and understand.

The rich content found in this book is well worth its $20 price tag. Every English/Language Arts educator should not only own a copy--they should also immediately incorporate Christensen's philosophy into their own classrooms for the benefit of their students.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Natali Emelina on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is by far the best book I ever read for teaching. It gives you so many ideas that I did not think about before. I just love it. Every teacher or soon-to-be teacher should definitely get it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AKlop on August 19, 2013
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I bought this book because I very much believe in the idea of empowering students and teaching social justice. She has useful ideas and they are divided into sections.
What I don't like is that it focuses almost exclusively on inner city African-American students and the issues in those communities. I teach at a school that includes children from 11 different countries and half of our school is Korean. A constant frustration of mine is America's very narrow definition of diversity and the limited resources available that are understanding of non-Western cultures.
I also disagree with her idea that instead of teaching classics AND relevant works that we should ONLY teach things that are just like our students' lives. I think there is some real value in reading things that are unlike our lives and finding those connections. Jane Eyre can be used to teach the longing for equality as much as any contemporary book.
So while the book has some use, if you don't teach inner city children I think it's usefulness is very limited.
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