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ERIC Number: EJ906283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Privileging Students' Voices: A Co-Teaching Philosophy that Evokes Excellence in "All" Learners
Seglem, Robyn; VanZant, Melissa
English Journal, v100 n2 p41-47 Nov 2010
With pressures from NCLB intensifying due to low test scores in subgroups including special education, the authors' district, like many others, approached students not as individuals but as rigid categories: "poor," "Hispanic," "African American," "disabled," or "regular"--a category particularly insulting to any student not included in it by their district. As the teachers responsible for reading scores in the special education subgroup, the authors had all the eyes on them, applying pressure to their first stab at collaboration. Yet the authors shared a common belief: They refused to define students through narrow lenses. About one-third of their students had IEPs, and many others fit into one or more of the other subgroups. Their experiences helped shape their behaviors in the classroom, but rather than trying to squeeze them into preconceived categories, the authors sought ways to help them weave their stories into the larger narrative that became their classroom. Every student had something to offer, and the authors fought to assure them they privileged no single voice over another. And the authors modeled this themselves. In this article, the authors show how raising expectations for all students and creating a community of readers and writers can work toward fulfilling the true meaning of "least restrictive environment."
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A