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Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom: Being the Book and Being the Change

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This powerful book lays out an inspiring new vision for the teaching of English, building on themes central to Wilhelm’s influential You Gotta BE the Book.

With this new work, Wilhelm and Novak challenge business as usual in the language arts.

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This powerful book lays out an inspiring new vision for the teaching of English, building on themes central to Wilhelm’s influential You Gotta BE the Book.

With this new work, Wilhelm and Novak challenge business as usual in the language arts. They call for nothing short of a revolution in our understanding of the aims and methods of the English classroom, showing what English can do for democratic life, inside and outside of classrooms.

With moving portraits of teachers and students, as well as practical strategies and advice, they provide a roadmap to educational transformation far beyond the field of English that will be of interest to a wide audience of teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and educational leaders.

Essential questions explored by Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom:

    • Why is what English teachers do so often underestimated?
    • How can we teach literature in a way that fully taps into its transformative power?
    • How can we artfully teach all subjects, at all levels, for personal wisdom, democratic community, and social and ecological justice?

“A 21st-century defense of literature.”

Sheridan Blau, from the Foreword

“It’s particularly exciting to see how the authors give both intellectual heft and political weight to the ‘softness’ that too many for too long have deemed a danger to our profession.”
Peter Elbow, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, author of Everyone Can Write

About the Authors

Jeffrey D. Wilhelm is professor of English Education at Boise State University and author of You Gotta BE the Book: Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents, Second Edition.
Bruce Novak is the director of Educational Projects for the Foundation for Ethics and Meaning. He has taught English, grades 6-12, at diverse settings in Chicago.

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