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Narration as Knowledge

Tales of the Teaching Life

By Edited by Joseph Trimmer

    This is the book I read out under the trees in my backyard, the one I kept on my bedside table, the one I didn't mark up with a pen (until I remembered I was supposed to be reviewing it).

    —College English

Here for the first time is a work in which eloquence is the vehicle for conveying theory and practice. This collection does not follow the sanctioned procedures of educational research. Nor is it written in the privileged forms of academic discourse. Instead, it plays with all the devices of storytelling--scene, dialogue, point of view--exploring a new way to report crucial information on the...

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    This is the book I read out under the trees in my backyard, the one I kept on my bedside table, the one I didn't mark up with a pen (until I remembered I was supposed to be reviewing it).

    —College English

Here for the first time is a work in which eloquence is the vehicle for conveying theory and practice. This collection does not follow the sanctioned procedures of educational research. Nor is it written in the privileged forms of academic discourse. Instead, it plays with all the devices of storytelling--scene, dialogue, point of view--exploring a new way to report crucial information on the teaching and learning of English.

In this beautifully written gathering, the narrators, many of the best-known names in English studies, do not see themselves as heroes. They know that the classroom is an exciting but uncertain place. No one, not even the teacher in charge, understands all of the subtle assumptions and slippery assertions enacted in the daily exchange of information. And so these narrators try to spin "true" stories about the partiality of their knowledge and the vulnerability of their power. Their tales, while engaging and insightful, are not exotic. They represent a range of recognizable teaching experiences, ordinary classes made extraordinary by the knowledge and skill of the narrator. They braid the reading and writing present in any English classroom with the culture that shapes teacher and student lives.

Narration as Knowledge will have wide appeal. The situations depicted and the topics discussed are universal enough to attract any secondary or postsecondary teacher. And because these stories are essentially experimental narratives, they will also interest any writer--student or professional.

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