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“Whose Forebears Are We?”

light bulbIn the teaching profession, the daily challenge of meeting the expectations of our students, our school, and our system, as well as those we’ve set for ourselves, often makes it difficult to look up and realize we’re not alone in this struggle. But when we do look up, and notice what our colleagues are doing and have already done to make things better, the struggle feels less lonely, and our daily work becomes a part of a larger movement for change.

This blog is intended to open up that view. It is a space in which we can ponder the challenge Deborah Brandt poses in her foreword to Reading the Past, Writing the Future.

“What we take for granted in our professional background is there as a result of somebody’s insight and effort. In retrospect we appreciate how the activism of forebears built the house in which we do our work today: Reading as constructive. Writing as process. Language as a heritage right. Assessment as formative. Teachers as leaders. Scholarship and pedagogy as one. We assume these truths to be self evident–but only because NCTE members studied, taught, argued, and pressed them into existence, making them programmatically real to the wider field. And so this begs the question: Whose forebears are we? What do they need from us now?” (p. xi)

Check out a sample chapter from the book here.