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Whose Goals Whose Aspirations

Learning to Teach Underprepared Writers across the Curriculum

Stephen M. Fishman and Lucille McCarthy

Publication Year: 2002

Ever since Horace Mann promoted state supported schooling in the 1850s, the aims of U.S. public education have been the subject of heated national debate. Whose Goals? Whose Aspirations? joins this debate by exploring clashing educational aims in a discipline-based university classroom and the consequences of these clashes for "underprepared" writers.

In this close-up look at a White middle-class teacher and his ethnically diverse students, Fishman and McCarthy examine not only the role of Standard English in college writing instruction but also the underlying and highly charged issues of multiculturalism, race cognizance, and social class.

Published by: Utah State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-xii

Teachers of underprepared college writers are a special breed, a committed and caring group whose work often takes place at the margins of the university yet carries out one of its central missions.We wish to thank a number of these teachers who have taken time from their busy schedules to share their expertise. We are grateful to Linda ...

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CHAPTER ONE. Introduction: A Kaleidoscope of Conflict

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pp. 1-16

Although the immediate focus of this book is learning to teach underprepared writers in college classes, it raises and explores two of the major questions facing public education as we begin the 21st century: Whose goals should schools pursue? Whose aspirations should they honor? These questions go back at least as far as Horace ...

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CHAPTER TWO. An ESL Writer and Her Discipline-based Professor: Making Progress Even When Goals Don’t Match

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pp. 17-64

In this chapter, we present the story of Neha Shah, a 23-year-old senior math major and recent immigrant from India. As we describe Neha’s experiences in a writing intensive Introduction to Philosophy class, we attend not only to her reading and writing but also to her goals for the course. Given that Neha’s goals diverge in significant ...

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CHAPTER THREE. Conflicting Discourses: Teacher and Student Making Progress in a Racialized Space

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pp. 65-115

In the previous chapter, we reported Fishman’s success in helping a recent immigrant, Neha Shah, make progress toward his goals for undergraduate thinking and writing. In this chapter, we describe Steve’s success with another underprepared writer, a pupil with a very different history: 36-year-old, African American, returning ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. Common Goals, Deweyan Community, and the Resolution of Freire’s Teacher–Student Contradiction

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pp. 116-168

In our studies of Neha Shah and Ellen Williams we saw clearly the cultural and linguistic chasm that frequently separates teacher and underprepared student. Put differently, we came to see that Fishman’s struggles with Neha and Ellen were as much about overcoming a cultural, class, and/or ethnic barrier as about reconciling ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. Conclusion: Sorting Conflict, Weaving Hope

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pp. 169-182

When Fishman asked McCarthy to observe his classroom so he could improve his instruction of underprepared writers, he expected her to help him understand students’ composing processes and way she might bring student papers in line with Standard American English. As we have shown, things did not turn out to be that simple. ...


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pp. 183-184

Appendix A. Research Methods

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pp. 185-188

Appendix B. Writing Assignments in Introduction to Philosophy

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pp. 189-197

Appendix C. Class Reflection Log (CRL) Questions

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pp. 198-200

Appendix D. Writing Assignments in Philosophy of Education

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pp. 201-204

Appendix E. Triple-Entry Notetaking Assignment

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p. 205-205


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pp. 206-220


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pp. 221-224

About the Authors

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p. 225-225

E-ISBN-13: 9780874214741
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874214475

Publication Year: 2002