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Paul L. Thomas

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Paul L. Thomas

Our English classrooms are often only as vibrant as the literature that we teach. This book explores the writing of contemporary American author, Kurt Vonnegut, who offers readers and students engaging fiction and nonfiction works that confront the reader and the world. Here, teachers will find an introduction to the life and works of Vonnegut and an opportunity to explore how to bring his works into the classroom as a part of the reading and writing curriculum. This volume attempts to confront what we teach and how we teach as English teachers through the vivid texts Vonnegut offers his readers.
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Numbers Games

Measuring and Mandating American Education

Paul L. Thomas

American schools are often the victims of numbers games because its education is in the hands of politicians, the populace, and pundits. How Americans view numbers, science, and research profoundly impacts the ability of politicians to manipulate our schools from pre-K through graduate education. Even in classrooms, teachers are routinely implementing flawed assessment strategies based on misguided assumptions about numbers and commonly held statistical truths. American educators need to step out from under the restrictive mandates of politicians and their growing mania for measuring students – they need to leave the numbers games behind and take control of their profession.
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Becoming and Being a Teacher

Confronting Traditional Norms to Create New Democratic Realities

Paul L. Thomas

This volume unmasks tensions among economic, political, and educational goals in the context of becoming and being a teacher. Chapters frame becoming and being a teacher within commitments to democracy and political literacy while confronting neoliberal assumptions about American society, universal public education, and education reform. A wide variety of teachers and scholars discuss teacher preparation and teaching through evidence-based examinations of complex problems and solutions facing teachers, education policymakers, the public, and students. Teaching is embraced as a political act, and critical subjectivity is endorsed as a rejection of objectivity and traditional paradigms of teaching designed to create a compliant teacher workforce. The book honors and celebrates voice and collective voice, both of which speak to and from the inexorable fact of becoming and being a teacher as one and the same.
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Edited by Paul L. Thomas

This new series in Peter Langes education list will Feature volurnes that focus an one writer whose works are suitable for English classrooms at the high school and college levels. These books are a blend of introductions to the authors and their works, critical Interpretation, explorations of best practice in reading and writing, and provocative considerations of leaming theory and pedagogy.
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Paul L. Thomas

Literature that confronts our students’ assumptions about the world and about text is the lifeblood of English classes in American high schools and colleges. Margaret Atwood offers works in a wide variety of genres that fulfill that need. This volume introduces readers, students, and teachers to the life and works of Atwood while also suggesting a variety of ways in which her works can become valuable additions to classroom experiences with literature and writing. Furthermore, this volume confronts how and why we teach English through Atwood’s writing.
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Paul L. Thomas

Until a few decades ago, student writing stood as a distant third in the three R’s. Since the late 1970s, however, students have been asked to write more, and teachers have been expected to teach writing more specifically. In spite of this mandate, however, little has been done to prepare teachers for this shift in the curriculum. This primer provides a brief history of the field, as well as an exploration of what we now know about teaching. Teachers entering the field as well as seasoned veterans will find how to foster student writers, and to grow as writers themselves.
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Paul L. Thomas

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de-testing and de-grading schools

Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization

Series:

Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas

A century of education and education reform, along with more than three decades of high-stakes testing and accountability, reveals a disturbing paradox: education has a steadfast commitment to testing and grading. This commitment persists despite ample research, theory, and philosophy revealing the corrosive consequences of both testing and grading in an education system designed to support human agency and democratic principles. This revised edited volume brings together a collection of updated and new essays that confronts the failure of testing and grading. The book explores the historical failure of testing and grading; the theoretical and philosophical arguments against testing and grading; the negative influence of tests and grades on social justice, race, class, and gender; and the role that they play in perpetuating a deficit perspective of children. The chapters fall under two broad sections. Part I, Degrading Learning, Detesting Education: The Failure of High-Stake Accountability in Education, includes essays on the historical, theoretical, and philosophical arguments against testing and grading. Part II, De-Grading and De-Testing in a Time of High-Stakes Education Reform, presents practical experiments in de-testing and de-grading classrooms for authentic learning experiences.
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De-Testing and De-Grading Schools

Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization

Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas

This book has won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award 2014.

A century of education and education reform along with the last three decades of high-stakes testing and accountability reveals a disturbing paradox: Education has a steadfast commitment to testing and grading despite decades of research, theory, and philosophy that reveal the corrosive consequences of both testing and grading within an education system designed to support human agency and democratic principles.
This edited volume brings together a collection of essays that confronts the failure of testing and grading and then offers practical and detailed examinations of implementing at the macro and micro levels of education teaching and learning free of the weight of testing and grading. The book explores the historical failure of testing and grading; the theoretical and philosophical arguments against testing and grading; the negative influence of testing and grading on social justice, race, class, and gender; and the role of testing and grading in perpetuating a deficit perspective of children, learning, race, and class.
The chapters fall under two broad sections: Part I: «Degrading Learning, Detesting Education: The Failure of High-Stake Accountability in Education» includes essays on the historical, theoretical, and philosophical arguments against testing and grading; Part II: «De-Grading and De-Testing in a Time of High-Stakes Education Reform» presents practical experiments in de-testing and de-grading classrooms for authentic learning experiences.