Writing for English in Education

launch_party_1.jpg

John Hodgson (Editor) and Catherine Phipps (Publication Manager) at the journal relaunch

More than 40 international teachers and researchers attended the relaunch of English in Education under its new publisher at the June NATE/IFTE conference in Birmingham.  The relaunched journal will be a hub of quality research, opinion and creative writing by and for the whole English subject community.  It will appear four times a year from 2020: this will allow us to produce more special issues on topical and emerging concerns.   The Editorial Board feel that such matters as the nature of subject English, English and multilingualism, and social media and English education are among current issues that demand attention.  We welcome your suggestions for other topics and your contributions: the autumn issue will include Calls for Papers for Autumn 2019, Newbolt and the Construction of Subject English, and Spring 2020, Multilingualism and English Education.

The Spring 2019 issue on Writing, edited by Jeni Smith and Mari Cruice, is in preparation.  It will present research into the practice and teaching of writing and demonstrate the creativity that is released amongst both teachers and students when writing is nurtured in the classroom to augment personal and social meaning, and indeed pleasure.   The initiative of the previous editor, Sue Dymoke, who instituted a regular “place for poetry”, established a deep connection in the journal between creativity and English education; this forthcoming special issue, edited by members of NATE’s UK National Writing Project, will develop this connection in exciting ways.

Recent debate on Twitter has suggested that the journal’s academic style and long lead-in times are unwelcoming.  We make no apology for insisting on quality reflection and research, but writing for the journal need not involve a long academic haul of interminable peer reviews.   The Editor is happy to discuss your proposed paper before submission, and to comment on a draft if that is helpful.  Formal submission can be made via the EIE website at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/eie.  You will be invited to create an account if you don’t already have one.  If you are submitting a research paper, this should normally comprise between 4000 and 6000 words including references, although this requirement is flexible to allow for differing topics and approaches.  Please add an abstract of about 150 words; figures, illustrations and other visual material are welcome.

The forthcoming issue (Autumn 2018) is distinct in both the range and the quality of its research.   Ann Harris and Marie Helks offer a critical consideration of the debates in England and Wales around grammar and grammatical terminology.   Mary Juswik and her colleagues use student essays to compare different approaches to argumentative writing, revealing the possibilities and benefits of engaging students in a broader social conversation.  Todd Reynolds and Bethany Townsend examine transcripts of whole class discussions led by English teachers with differing views of the teacher role in such discussions.  Yvette Murdoch and Alin Kang examine the connections between teachers’ learning and use of students’ names and student experience and outcomes within the English as a Medium of Instruction classroom.  Poetry is not forgotten: Ian McEwen’s Poetry is Not for Kids makes a spirited riposte to the UK Secretary of State for Education’s withdrawal of the A-level (senior secondary) qualification in Creative Writing:

            Poetry is not for kids.

They might decide to write it!

– while Stewart Manley, a lecturer in Trust Law, shows that students’ and teachers’ “home-made poetry” can aid learning of other disciplines and increase authenticity in the classroom.

Books reviewed in this issue include Melanie Shoffner’s exploration of the representation of teachers in fiction and film, appraised by Ann Harris, and two edited collections on the teaching of literature that, in the words of Victoria Elliott, posit English as a conversation between students, texts and teachers – albeit not an unproblematic conversation, given its current social and political contexts.

Your response to our plans for the journal is welcome, as are ideas and contributions for future issues.   Please contact me at the address below.

John Hodgson (Editor)

john.hodgson@uwe.ac.uk

Advertisements

English teachers: bound to necessity?

14538552._SX540_

English in Education, Summer 2017

Being a good teacher of English (or any other subject) requires not only skill – the craft or techne required to achieve a desired outcome – but also wider understanding, or episteme.  Plato associated episteme with a freedom of intelligence, while (according to Damon Young) techne in the Greek polis “was a kind of knowledge associated with people who are bound to necessity”.

English teachers often resent being bound to necessity. Bethan Marshall writes in her conclusion to Testing English: “Despite over 150 years of battle, English teachers are still trying to assess English in a way that makes sense to them.”   Given current circumstances, it’s not surprising that much of the research presented in the new (Summer 2017) issue of English in Education concerns episteme rather than techne.

  • Paul Tarpey reconsiders John Dixon’s “personal growth” model of English in relation to its current manifestations.
  • Nicholas Stock explores the rhetoric of England’s new GCSE English examinations.
  • Jonathan Glazzard examines the “phonics check” for England’s five year olds in relation to various theories of reading.
  • Paul Gardner compares the discourses of English in England and Australia.

In practice, of course, the two kinds of knowledge interrelate.  Margaret Merga’s large-scale survey of children’s reading motivations and interests has direct relevance to classroom practitioners.   Jonathan Monk draws on cultural history and theory and Zadie Smith’s novel NW when preparing his students to write personally about their experience of the city.

Another theme of this issue is the importance of the personal and authentic in the daily work of teaching and learning.   Trevor Millum’s poem “Class Accents” suggests the complex nature of student and teacher voice.

The book reviews offer a conjunction of episteme and techne.  Urszula Clark reviews  Giovanelli and Clayton’s Knowing About Language: Linguistics and the Secondary English Classroom, while  Victoria Elliott reviews Skidmore and Murakami’s Dialogic Pedagogy. 

Foucault used episteme to define what might be called the epistemological unconscious of a community of practice, and he insisted that the essential political problem is to try to change our “political, economic, institutional regime of the production of truth”.  This issue argues the importance of bringing together episteme and techne in the experience of English teachers: a consummation devoutly to be wished in present circumstances.

John Hodgson

Members of NATE will receive their printed copy of English in Education shortly.   To join NATE, see sidebar.