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"Is This English?" Race, Language, and Culture in the Classroom

Bob Fecho Susan L. Lytle Marilyn Cochran-Smith

192 pages
Teachers College Press
This is the story of a white high school English teacher, Bob Fecho, and his students of color who mutually engage issues of literacy, language, learning, and culture. Through his journey, Fecho presents a method of “critical inquiry” that allows students and teachers to take intellectual and social risks in the classroom to make meaning together and, ultimately, to transform literacy education. Featuring the voices, beliefs, and struggles of urban adolescents and their teachers, this important book: Describes how critical inquiry enabled students and teachers to cross cultural boundaries and enact a pedagogy that empowers students. Provides a much-needed alternative to current best-practice thinking and educational mandates that demean teacher knowledge and alienate adolescent students. Demonstrates how difficult realities can and should enter the classroom, showing teachers how to channel them into language, discourse, and classroom projects that improve students’ literacy and thinking.
Author Bio
Bob Fecho taught secondary English for over 20 years in Philadelphia before joining the Reading Education department at the University of Georgia, where he now teaches and conducts research on adolescent literacy.