Engaging the Critical in English Education

Approaches from the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education

by Briana Asmus (Volume editor) Charles H. Gonzalez (Volume editor)
©2020 Textbook XIV, 170 Pages


The chapters in this collection explore the implementation of social justice pedagogies with preservice teachers by members of the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education; a group of teacher educators from across the country whose primary goal is to prepare teachers to use socially just models to reach all groups of students and to create a more equitable educational system. In this collection, each member/author presents a critical model of social justice teaching by considering the ways in which gender, race, class, and other intersections function in the classroom. Individually, authors enact critical models by interrogating inequitable systems of oppression in their own professional and pedagogical environments. Collectively, the chapters ask what thoughtful, participatory social justice pedagogy looks like in multidimensional pedagogical spaces. At all levels, this collection explores the rewards and challenges of social justice pedagogy within and outside of preservice teacher preparation programs influenced by a constantly shifting political landscape. Ultimately, this collection seeks to discover how ideas of social justice are conceptualized and understood by English educators and K-12 teachers.
As a possible approach to this question, the chapters in this collection support ELATE-SJ’s paradigm for advocacy. This paradigm includes three areas of enaction: research, scholarship, and action. Within these areas, members of the commission (authors) seek to better understand how preservice ELA teachers see themselves and others, to develop flexible teaching models grounded in social justice pedagogy (SJP), and to delineate opportunities for transformation, growth, and change in and through our profession.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Contributors
  • Part I
  • 1. What Is Social Justice to Teacher Education?: A History of the Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs
  • 2. Countering Reified Framings of Social Justice: Building Responsiveness Through Dialogue
  • Part II
  • 3. The Climate Emergency and English Education
  • 4. Positioning Writing Hope as a Framework for Social Justice in English Education1
  • 5. “It’s Harder to Do It Here”: Learning to Teach for Social Justice in a Rural English Education Course
  • 6. Designing an Equity-Oriented Undergraduate English Education Major
  • Part III
  • 7. Preparing Teacher Candidates to Meet the Needs of English Language Learners: Social Justice as Foundation
  • 8. Framework for Critical Conversations as Social Justice Pedagogy in ELA Classrooms
  • 9. Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and the Problem of Poverty: From Cultural Identity to Political Subjectivity
  • Index
  • Series index

←viii | ix→


Thank you to our families for supporting us throughout this process, especially to our spouses Christopher Nagle and Chantale Onesi-Gonzalez. We appreciate you providing us with the space, time, and love that we needed.

Special thanks to all current and former members of English Language Arts Teacher Educators Commission on Social Justice in Teacher Education Programs (ELATE-SJ), especially—Noah Asher Golden, Deb Bieler, and sj Miller–your unwavering support and strength made this collection possible. The Commission has always been a gracious, welcoming, and compassionate group of educators, and we are honored to be in your presence.

This book would not have been possible without the guidance of Les Burns—you are a wonderful human, a dedicated educator, and an essential part of our efforts.

←ix | x→

←x | xi→


Briana Asmus is Assistant Professor of Education and ESL/Bilingual Program Director at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to her academic position, she was a literacy consultant and coach for the largest migrant education program in Michigan, and taught 9th and 12th grade English. She also taught English as a second language to middle, high school and college students in South Korea, China, and Japan. She is a former co-chair of ELATE-SJ.

Deborah Bieler is Associate Professor of English Education at the University of Delaware and is a former high school English teacher and writing center director. Her research concerns the preparation and retention of equity-oriented secondary English teachers and has been published in journals such as English Education, Teachers College Record, and The New Educator.

Kelly Byrne Bull is Associate Professor of Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University where she teaches courses on language and culture, educational research, and young adult literature. Her scholarship appears in English Journal, The ALAN Review, Special Interest Group Network on Adolescent Literature Journal, Theory into Practice, and in numerous book chapters.

A former high school English and social studies teacher, Todd DeStigter is Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His primary research interests are English teacher education and the intersection of literacy, politics, and culture.

←xi | xii→

Noah Asher Golden is Assistant Professor of Education at California State University, Long Beach. Prior to becoming a researcher and teacher educator, Noah had a fifteen-year career as a literacy coach and high school English teacher. His research interests include critical literacies, equity-oriented pedagogies, and negotiated identity work.

Charles H. Gonzalez is Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at Austin Peay State University. He has worked with diverse populations of public school students, out-of-school youth, and adult learners and currently teaches literature, pedagogy, and education courses in the Department of Teaching and Learning. His research focuses on discovering ways to encourage and support pre-service (and in-service) teachers to be culturally relevant and on uncovering ways to develop new culturally sustaining pedagogies. He is a former co-chair of ELATE-SJ and has been a member of NCTE since 2008.

Heather Hurst, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Education at Frostburg State University. Her teaching has been in educational research methods, particularly qualitative research, English teaching methods, and social justice and diversity in education. Her current research is in social justice pedagogy in English education, problematic narratives of adolescent bullying, and conflict negotiation during classroom discussions. She has published in the English Journal and Methodological Innovations and has presented at the American Educational Research Association, the Literacy Research Association, the International Literacy Association, and NCTE and ELATE’s conferences.

Kahdeidra Monét Martin is a doctoral candidate in urban education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Kahdeidra is interested in culturally relevant and universally designed English teacher education, critical pedagogy, and multimodal approaches to cultivate racial literacy among teachers and students. Kahdeidra’s scholarship uses qualitative research methods to understand the heteroglossic languaging practices of youth and their significance to identity formation and belonging in various communities of practice.

Terri Rodriguez is Professor of Education at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University where she teaches undergraduate courses in literacy and English language arts teacher preparation. Her recent research focuses on education for diversity, equity, and social justice. She is co-author of Supporting Muslim Students: A Guide to Understanding the Diverse Issues of Today’s Classrooms (2017) published by Rowman & Littlefield.

←xii |

Melissa Schieble is Associate Professor of English Education at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Melissa teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in English education, literacy, and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on digitally-mediated interactions in English education, young adult literature, and critically oriented forms of discourse analysis.

Nicole Sieben is Assistant Professor of Secondary English Education at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury where she is also the coordinator for the graduate programs in English education. A former high school English teacher in New York, Sieben’s research focuses on building “writing hope” in secondary and postsecondary education, social justice practices, and professional development in K–12 schools.

Amy Vetter is Associate Professor in English Education in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she teaches undergraduate courses in teaching practices and curriculum of English and literacy in the content area, and graduate courses in youth literacies, teacher research, and qualitative research design. Her areas of research interest are literacy and identity, critical conversations in English education, and the written lives of youth.

Allen Webb is Professor of English at Western Michigan University. Webb is a former high school English teacher, professor of English education for 25 years, and author of a dozen books mostly for teachers published by Routledge, NCTE Press, and Heinemann.

←xiii | xiv→


XIV, 170
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (November)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XVI, 170 pp., 5 b/w ill., 4 tables.

Biographical notes

Briana Asmus (Volume editor) Charles H. Gonzalez (Volume editor)

Briana Asmus is an assistant professor of Education and ESL/Bilingual Program Director at Aquinas College. Prior to academia, she was a literacy consultant in migrant education, and taught English/ESL in South Korea, Japan, China, and the United States. Charles H. Gonzalez, PhD., an assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction, has worked with diverse populations of pre-service teachers, public school students, and out-of-school youths for nearly two decades. His duties in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Austin Peay State University include teaching pedagogy and education courses. He has published research on multimodality, teacher education, and implementing digital video into ELA classrooms. His current work centers on discovering ways to encourage and support teachers to be culturally relevant and uncovering ways to develop new culturally sustaining pedagogies. He has been part of over twenty educational conference presentations.


Title: Engaging the Critical in English Education
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
book preview page numper 25
book preview page numper 26
book preview page numper 27
book preview page numper 28
book preview page numper 29
book preview page numper 30
book preview page numper 31
book preview page numper 32
book preview page numper 33
book preview page numper 34
book preview page numper 35
book preview page numper 36
book preview page numper 37
book preview page numper 38
188 pages