Tuesday, April 26, 2011

English Studies for Teachers and EMWP

Cathy Fleischer

Some of you may already know about the close connection between EMWP and the MA program in English Studies for Teachers offered at EMU. A number of teachers have decided to work on this MA after participating in the Summer Institute and continuity groups (just participating in those two experiences is good for 6 of the required 30 credits!) And what they’ve learned is that the focus on theory based best practices that is the centerpiece of the Summer Institute is also the basis of this MA program.

And so we were particularly proud that at this year’s MA Celebration/Presentation, three of the four speakers are also EMWP Teacher Consultants: Jill Fyke, Lauren Luedtke, and Liz Scott (pictured here with Matt Koleszar—we’re working on getting him to join EMWP!) These teachers are finishing their degree by conducting some amazing classroom research projects (again—see the connection to EMWP?), studying their own teaching and their students’ learning in order to make some great changes in their classrooms and schools.

Jill presented on “Using YA Fiction and Poetry: Mentor Texts to Inspire and Improve Writing,” a study that looked at how her middle level students’ writing changed when they were immersed in novels and poems that depicted real issues confronting teens.

Lauren, in “Engaging Literature Circle Groups in Inquiry,” investigated what happened in her senior English class when her students moved from using Literature circles (with their emphasis on role sheets and comprehension of novels) to Inquiry Groups (which focus more on underlying question and issues raised by the novels).

Liz, in her “Engaging in Dialogue with ‘Real’ Writers,” talked about the changes in her students’ understanding of writing processes when they began to interact with published authors and learning about these authors’ approaches to writing. Her students have written letters to authors, Skyped with YA author Chris Crutcher, and attended a talk by Lois Lowry.

Matt drew upon his background as a social studies teacher in his project “Using Creative Writing to Promote the Learning of History.” Matt has studied the changes in his students’ understanding of history as they’ve been engaged with a variety of creative writing assignments, both formative and summative, throughout the semester.

Amazing presentations by some thoughtful and engaged teachers. Congrats to all four!

And if you’re interested in learning more about the MA in English Studies for Teachers, visit http://www.emich.edu/english/english-ed/graduate.php.


Natalie said...

How exciting. Congrats! Miss you ladies.

Jennifer Buehler said...

Wonderful projects!