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ERIC Number: EJ852613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1946-7109
Changing the Subject: Building Critical and Compassionate Communities in English and English Education Classrooms
Bieler, Deborah
Penn GSE Perspectives on Urban Education, v4 n1 Spr 2006
In this article, the author argues that, wherever possible, English teachers should not consider English or English education curriculum as an end in itself but rather a "means" to an end--the building of a critical and compassionate community both within and beyond the classroom. Building such a community involves a re-imagining of the teaching of English, as well as the preparation of future English teachers, as the creation of opportunities to engage in literacy practices that, through the performance of both skills and dispositions that involve wrestling with issues of difference, foster a critical, compassionate way of being in the world. In this article, the author advocates for a two-layered approach toward fostering a more holistic, humane English education for American youth. In the first section of the article, the author discusses how English education, traditionally conceived, might contribute to youth violence. In the second portion, the author describes the ways in which both secondary English classes and post-secondary classes for prospective English teachers can be conceptualized and taught in order to cultivate critical and compassionate communities both within and, ultimately, beyond schools. (Contains 5 endnotes.)
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education. 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A