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The Power of Teacher Talk

Promoting Equity and Retention Through Student Interactions

Deborah Bieler Valerie Kinloch

168 pages
Teachers College Press
2020 AERA Division K Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award The Power of Teacher Talk investigates the connections between two persistent educational challenges: high numbers of students who drop out and of teachers who leave the profession. Based on a study of thousands of daily interactions between new justice-oriented English teachers and their students, this book proposes that teachers who show a commitment to equity in their communications can positively affect student retention and are more likely to remain in the profession. Blending vivid descriptions of classroom life with equity and language research, the author urges teachers to be aware of and intentional about the power of their interactions with students—in everything from their classroom décor and informal hallway chats to their responses to challenging moments during class and in after-class discussions. This must-read book shifts the narrative on what kinds of teaching practices matter and how teachers can and do work toward equity. Book Features: Uses innovative research methods to reveal the importance of spontaneous, teacher/student interactions, an often overlooked aspect of teaching practice. Provides rare insight into how teachers work within the boundaries of traditional public high school classes to help both marginalized students and teachers themselves to succeed. Challenges teachers, school leaders, and teacher educators with practical ways to overcome common obstacles to equity-oriented teaching. Includes classroom examples, concrete suggestions, and engaging reflection questions to inspire discussion and positive change.
Author Bio
Deborah Bieler is an associate professor of English education at the University of Delaware.