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ERIC Number: EJ817312
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Canaries in the Coal Mine: Urban Rookies Learning to Teach Language Arts in "High Priority" Schools
Costigan, Arthur T.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v35 n2 p85-103 Spr 2008
Many new teachers in urban settings understand that the ways in which they are required to teach stem from local implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), entitled "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB). Unfortunately, they find the legislation confusing, the implementations baffling, and the effect on the practicing and pre-service teachers disheartening. This study presents the thoughts, feelings, and understandings of new teachers in Language Arts (LA) classrooms "from the inside"; that is, from the perspective of second- and third-year teachers in poor urban districts. These teachers are emblematic of curricular reforms in two ways: First, because they have been impacted more dramatically and intensely than other disciplines; second, because urban teachers in high priority schools experience more intense teaching situations than those teaching in wealthier districts. Although achievement gaps between White and minority students have been increasing for some time, the experiences of these LA teachers shed light on the growing evidence that NCLB reforms may be accelerating and exacerbating such gaps. The narratives of these new teachers suggest that educational reform is implemented ineffectively when the local realities of teachers and learners are ignored. (Contains 2 notes.)
Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Boulevard PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001