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Making the Road by Walking: Teaching Reading and Composition - A Semester in Progress

Making the Road by Walking: Teaching Reading and Composition - A Semester in Progress

Written by Antero Garcia
September 04, 2013

Increasingly, the process of learning to teach and build environments for learning is becoming an increasingly digitized space. From the online discussion spaces students are required to engage in for classes to the portfolios of preservice work that will be shared to assess the viability of an individual for a teaching gig to the ways we adapt and recycle ready made resources and texts, digital culture permeates the ways students become teachers.

Over the next fourteen weeks, we (Antero Garcia and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen) would like to experiment with the public nature of preservice education. Expanding over the course of the semester, we envision this Digital Is resource as a public space for students to pose pedagogical and instructional ideas and questions, wobble with their implementation, and share ways they attain states of flow in their development as teachers.

A book of dialogue between Paulo Freire and Myles Horton is called We Make the Road by Walking. It’s a powerful metaphor for the kinds of practical forms of engagement and public dialogue we hope to ignite across the semester. Please jump in and join the conversations our students are involved in.


In our first week of public discussion, our classes are looking at how cultural differences and privilege impact how we teach reading and composition. Our classes are reading selections from Allan Johnson’s Privilege, Power, and Difference. This class meets in exactly two minutes! I will be posting highlights of our discussion as well as audio from the class.

Teaching Reading

Though Cindy O’Donnell-Allen and I will be sharing this resource, some of the discussions are specific to her class on “Teaching Composition” and some will pertain solely to our class on “Teaching Reading.”

For instance, today (9/5) we are discussing three texts: Buffy Hamilton’s DML post, a Digital Is resource my class made last semester, chapter one of Freire’s book Literacy, and a selection from Other People’s Children.

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