NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ917447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1074-4762
Three Student Perspectives: An Introduction
Hubbard, Janet
Voices from the Middle, v18 n3 p37-48 Mar 2011
When the author offered the option of writing an article for "Voices from the Middle" to her seventh- and eighth-grade language arts classes, some students were unwavering in their preference to stay on the steady, familiar ground of writing a letter to a peer about a book they had read and loved. Noah McCord, Tobin Feldman-Fitzthum, and Jill Shah, however, were among those whose eyes brightened at the opportunity to take on this new challenge of articulating what works for them in the classroom as readers and writers. These three students took on the challenge of describing their perspective regarding what teachers can do to promote a love of reading and writing via curriculum decisions, student and teacher roles and formats, and class content. While there is some commonality in the structures and experiences they chose to write about, their reflections--while harmonious--display the individual nature of students as readers and writers. In Noah McCord's piece ("A Student Perspective and Observations of Engaging Literacy Experiences"), there is a distinct aptitude for seeing the larger context around worthy tasks in the classroom. He is able to name the importance of "getting to know people our age," giving students "room to breathe" in their studies, and "giving time where time is due" for independent reading. His observations are both personal and show a wide awareness of the experience of the students around him. Tobin Feldman-Fitzthum's essay ("Positive and Engaging Literacy Experiences--A Student's Perspective") recognizes that for a student today, variety is essential to maintaining a sense of energy and challenge around writing tasks. He also looks beyond the language arts classroom to acknowledge that reading and writing are not discipline-specific skills, but are central to the learning that takes place across the curriculum, and that developing choice and guidance in the skill sets required for multiple disciplines creates both a cohesive experience and a student with greater literary strength. Finally, Jill Shah ("From One Class to Another") focuses her lens on the hingepoint that middle school language arts has become, with students expected to hone their abilities and skill sets in this setting prior to arriving at high school. As she reflects on her own growth through middle school, the literary maturity garnered by the end of eighth grade is evident not only in her analysis, but also in her reflections. [The three described student essays are included at the end of this article.
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 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington