The Authors: sj Miller is Assistant Professor of Secondary English Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. S/he has a B.A. in social sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Jewish studies from the Hebrew Union College, and a Ph.D. in educational thought and sociocultural studies with an emphasis in secondary English education from the University of New Mexico. S/he has published widely in journals and, most notably, won the 2005 Article of the Year Award from the English Journal. sj's current research interests are in unpacking English teacher identity in spacetime as preservice teachers experience the larger matrix of the teaching world. Linda Norris is Associate Professor of English and Director of Undergraduate English education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in English and a B.A. in French from Penn State, and an M.A. in language communications and a Ph.D. in instruction and learning from the University of Pittsburgh, where she won the Doctoral Association of Educators' Outstanding Dissertation Award. She is the co-author of Making Thinking Visible: Writing, Collaborative Planning, and Classroom Inquiry (1994).
Miller and Norris look at the education of preservice teachers as a complex interaction in the realm of what they call 'thirdspace,' a site where the material, social, political, and personal dimensions of teaching collide. The authors describe the contemporary world of the teacher as a matrix, 'loaded' with a myriad of sociocultural issues that are very real for students, ranging from bullying and sexual harassment to racism. By theorizing and providing practical classroom suggestions for both the novice secondary school teacher and the teacher educator, Miller and Norris construct a convincing and fascinating argument that only when new teachers recognize and respect the matrix in which they operate can they effectively teach within it. (Janet Alsup, Associate Professor of English Education, Purdue University; Author of 'Teacher Identity Discourses: Negotiating Personal and Professional Spaces') This engaging preservice English method text is uniquely organized around realistically addressing challenging issues faced by all new teachers: classroom management and power, implementing critical literacy pedagogies in an era of testing and standards, technology integration, individual/special learning needs, race/class/gender differences, bullying and abuse, censorship, evaluation and assessment, school rules, second language learning, self-reflection and teacher self-efficacy, and schooling within an inequitable society. It then helps preservice teachers develop beliefs and strategies for best addressing these challenges, as well as providing them with lots of creative activities and resources for engaging students in inquiry-based learning. (Richard Beach, Professor of English Education, University of Minnesota; Author of 'TeachingMediaLiteracy.com: A Web-Linked Guide to Resources and Activities') 'Unpacking the Loaded Teacher Matrix' by sj Miller and Linda Norris is a creative tour de force that brings to light serious problems in preservice education and offers important approaches to redress those problems. This book clears a path for uniting mind and body as well as theory and practice... (Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, Author of 'Rage and Hope: Interviews with Peter McLaren on War, Imperialism, and Critical Pedagogy')