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CASLL-L  July 1996

CASLL-L July 1996

Subject:

_RTE_ news and call for manuscripts

From:

Russ Hunt <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 31 Jul 1996 15:42:39 AST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (145 lines)

Peter Smagorinsky just posted this to the xmca list, and I thought
CASLL folks might be interested in it -- both because they may be
interested in submitting work, and also because it's news to see
_RTE_ going in this direction.  Good news, I think.

                                   -- Russ

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

From:           Peter Smagorinsky <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:        Call for Manuscripts
Date sent:      Wed, 31 Jul 96 07:25:26 -0500

Call for Manuscripts by the New Editors of Research in the Teaching of English

Peter Smagorinsky (University of Oklahoma) and Michael W. Smith (Rutgers
University) are happy to announce that effective immediately we will be
co-editors of Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) for the remaining
two years of the present editorial term. RTE is published by the National
Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), an organization of roughly 90,000
teachers of  English, Language Arts, ESL/EFL, and related fields. Our vision
of what "research in the teaching of English" means is broad and inclusive.
As teachers (each of us taught high school English for over ten years before
we began teaching in universities), we have been influenced by a broad
spectrum of research.  As researchers, we have considered a range of
questions and have used a number of different approaches in our attempts to
answer those questions.  As editors, we are committed to publishing
manuscripts that maintain RTE's tradition of excellence while reflecting the
diversity of sites, methodological perspectives, and ontological
orientations that have newly enriched literacy studies in recent years.  We
invite manuscripts that will help us to fulfill this commitment.

Research in the Teaching of English
A Definition of Terms

Research: In the last ten years, conceptions of what constitutes research
have changed.  Bruner, Wells, and others, for instance, have argued that
narrative should be regarded on equal footing with traditional analytic
approaches as a way of understanding and relating human experience.  This
belief has become institutionally embedded in NCTE, with such memoirs as
Mike Rose's Lives on the Boundary and Victor Villanueva's Bootstraps being
awarded the Council's highest research awards.  Teacher-research is gaining
in stature, with Cochran-Smith and Lytle among others arguing that its emic
(insider's) orientation provides important insights into situated classroom
practices.  These two movements are indicative of the reconsideration taking
place in the field of education about the nature of what we call research
and how we conduct and write about it.  In our own editing of RTE, we wish
to embrace multiple approaches to conducting research.  In addition to
traditional analytic approaches, we wish to consider teacher-research,
historical articles, narratives, and other modes and genres through which
researchers are now conducting inquiries.  We also would like to publish
data-driven conceptual articles, review articles that use prior research to
gain new perspectives on important issues, and articles that make
theoretical arguments about research methodology.

in: Discussions of the name of RTE often overlook this preposition.
Research in the Teaching of English suggests that the research reported in
RTE should be something that takes place in English classes.  With so much
research pointing to the importance of understanding literacy practices in
many contexts, we question whether we should limit the research published in
this journal to that  which is conducted exclusively in English classes.
Heath's Ways with Words exemplifies a research tradition that identifies the
ways in which students' community literacy experiences affect their success
in performing according to school standards.  This tradition suggests the
need to look outside schools to understand the processes that take place
within them.  Additionally, there is a growing body of research on
professional development--including research on preservice and inservice
(e.g., National Writing Project) programs--that is critical to an
understanding of the ways in which disciplinary knowledge is constructed and
classroom practices are ultimately carried out.  Our conception of RTE would
encompass research that informs the teaching of English, thus including any
investigation in any site that helps to account for literacy development.
This new focus could conceivably include investigations of literacy
practices that take place in disciplines other than English, in communities
of practice that include out-of-school adults, or in other venues that are
not "in" conventional sites for studying "English."

the Teaching: These terms evoke the image of the certified teacher at work
in the classroom.  And we anticipate that studies set in classrooms will
remain central in RTE's contributions to literacy research.  Yet many people
serve as teachers.  Vygotsky, in his conception of the zone of proximal
development, puts teachers and more capable peers in the same category in
providing assistance to learners.  The National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards Early Adolescent English/Language Arts document requires
that their certification candidates  specify the ways in which they learn
from their students, thus blurring the distinction between a teacher and a
learner.   Wertsch and others have discussed the importance of "distant
teachers," those who write books and otherwise provide learning tools for
those with whom they are not in immediate contact.  Furthermore, a focus on
Teaching  suggests a top-down instructional process, an imbalance in the
relationship between the actions of teachers and learners.  A reconception
of the idea of teaching would include attention to the diverse people and
resources that can serve instructional roles, whether in schools or out,
whether adult or child.  Such a reconception would emphasize the experiences
of learners in a teaching relationship.

of English: The terms "of English" are problematic to many for the ways in
which they imply an emphasis on secondary and college English classes--that
is, distinct classes that focus exclusively on the three traditional strands
of literature, composition, and language.  One problem with this designation
is the apparent exclusion of Language Arts instruction in elementary school,
which attends to the same areas yet is not segregated in a discrete class or
identified by a specific language.  Although RTE has traditionally published
articles that focus on elementary school Language Arts, the journal's title
does not invite them.  A related problem is the apparent exclusion of the
development of literacy skills in community life, the work force, and other
arenas relevant to understanding processes that take place in schools.
Additionally, the designation of "English" appears to exclude research in
language development more broadly construed, particularly ESL/EFL
instruction--and, from an international perspective, language arts studies
in tongues other than English.  In our editing of the journal we will
welcome articles that inquire into literacy issues regardless of the
language spoken, the nation of investigation, the site of teaching and
learning, or the discipline that grounds the problem.

Call for Manuscripts
We welcome any manuscript that meets the vision we have outlined here.  If
you are uncertain about the fit of your work, please contact Peter
Smagorinsky ([log in to unmask], or 405-325-3533) or Michael Smith
([log in to unmask], or 908-932-7496, ext. 120) and discuss your
questions with one of us.

Although we edit the journal as a partnership, we have decided to channel
all manuscripts through a single institution to facilitate the efficiency of
our record-keeping.  Please submit all articles to the University of
Oklahoma, following which your work will be assigned to an editor who will
oversee the review of the manuscript.  Follow the APA Publication Manual's
guidelines for the format of conventional research reports.  For articles
written in other genres, use the APA citation format and explain in a cover
letter what you are trying to achieve through the structure you've chosen.

To have your article reviewed for publication in RTE, send to the following
address: six copies of your manuscript printed back-to-back; sufficient
postage for mailing manuscripts to four reviewers; and a self-addressed,
stamped manilla envelope if you wish to have a copy of your manuscript
returned to you.

Peter Smagorinsky
Co-Editor, Research in the Teaching of English
University of Oklahoma
College of Education
Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum
820 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK 73019-0260
[log in to unmask]

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