Friday, February 29, 2008


I just wanted to thank Dr. Keri for the blog post on Alice's Restaurant. The kids really appreciated it as well. I had them all read it yesterday and make a comment. I believe the comments will be a nice pick-me-up for you. Your post was a definite pick-me-up for my class.

I spent an hour going through the NCTE links and found some really useful stuff. I especially enjoyed reading the article on multimodal literacies. One of the pitfalls of the success of the applied communications class is that now I have to write a curriculum guide for it. The information you linked to will be a huge help in getting me started (whenever I get started:)

I am winding my way through your dissertation. I have found it truly amazing. Not being a great researcher myself, your writing has given me some huge insight and academic justification for what we are doing in class. As you know, I tend to operate from what my gut tells me the kids need. The whole justification through academic research thing is not my thing. I have seen it as a huge waste of time that i don't have. What I have done is watch and learn from people like you who have done the research. However, as I get more comfortable with what I'm doing I find it easier to do research and get something out of it.

The vocabulary in academia is quite daunting to me. As a student without any teaching experience, I was unable to internalize what was taught. For example, multimodal literacies. I had heard of the term, memorized the definition, but had no clue what it really was. But, now that I have been a classroom, I can understand the term completely. Another example would be your dissertation. If I had read it before teaching, I doubt it would have had much value to me because I wouldn't have been able to truly understand all of the vocabulary. But today, it is amazingly pertinent and understandable. You can count on it being cited in my seminar paper.

So, just between you and I, since I am able to better understand what I read when reading all of this academic writing even with all of those high-fallutin’ words, I rather enjoy it. But, don’t tell anyone.

1 comment:

KF said...

Hi, Mr. N.,

I just emailed you an article I just noticed from the latest issue of Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

I never had time to read research articles, and I certainly did not know how to conduct a research study until the last couple of years. I know exactly what you mean about relevance. You know, we don't know what we don't know. Then, we start teaching, and suddenly pieces of the puzzle seem to start coming together. I think as teachers we find things that work. We know they work, and then, I get more curious. I want to see what other people are doing. I start reading about other people's practices, and then I may start reading some theoretical stuff. All of a sudden, I see my work through the lens of this theorist. I remember trying new things in class, and then suddenly seeing how it related to the theory and the research. I thought it was pretty cool.

Like right now, you have a hypothesis. You think using digital video production in your class is relevant and motivating. Students like it. You are researching your own class right now. You are watching, observing, taking notes, and making changes. At the end of this semester, you'll have results.

I was very appreciative of your students' responses to my comments. I was also completely impressed by their responses to the stranger who posted on your blog (maybe they weren't so strange?--we haven't discussed that yet).

By the way, I love the picture on your blog. I'm anxious to read more about your thinking.

I think I've been rambling. Oh, you know, the first "research" I read, was Peter Elbow's "Everyone Can Write." I read that, and started trying some things in my classroom. Then, when I did the writing project, Dr. Fox gave us a huge book of research articles, and it was really interesting. That was the first time I really engaged with research.