on the links below to learn more about the teachers, advisors,
and content experts who contributed to this library.
Fondren Middle School
Bernhart received his degree in secondary English (K-12) from
the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1994. Following a
year of substitute teaching in Milwaukee public schools, he
took a full-time language arts position at Fondren Middle
School in Houston, Texas, where he has worked for the past
six years. He currently teaches seventh grade magnet and pre-AP
Bernhart is a lead teacher in the Houston Independent School
District. He is also active in the Greater Houston Area Writing
Project. During 2000, he assisted as a convention planner
for the annual middle school convention of the National Council
of Teachers of English (NCTE), and participated in the National
Writing Project, a month-long professional development workshop.
that literature helps people understand themselves and the
world in which they live, Bernhart uses contemporary young
adult literature to engage students in discussions on such
critical topics as race, equality, and justice. He is committed
to teaching in an urban district.
Janis Currence, Ed.D.
Stephen Decatur Middle School
Dr. Janis Currence holds an undergraduate certification in
special education and elementary education from the State
University of New York at Geneseo, a master's degree in education
from Salisbury State with a concentration in supervision and
administration, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction
from the University of Maryland's School of Education at College
Currence has over 30 years of teaching experience in a variety
of settings, including primary and secondary special education,
a program for socially and emotionally challenged secondary
students, and regular English classes at the fourth, sixth,
and eighth grade levels. She also has extensive experience
working with teaching professionals. She has been a writing
resource teacher for teachers of eighth and ninth grade English
in Worcester County, Maryland, and has provided in-service
programs for teachers in Worcester, Wicomico, and Dorchester
Counties. In 1998, as an adjunct professor at Salisbury State
University, she taught a course entitled "Reading and
Writing in the Content Areas for Secondary Teachers."
She has served as both professional education consultant and
teacher/consultant for the Eastern Shore Writing Project,
and co-directed two writing project Summer Institutes at Salisbury
Currence presently teaches seventh grade Integrated language
arts at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Berlin, Maryland.
Teaching on the classroom level or as she says, "in
the trenches" is her true professional calling.
DeWitt Clinton Elementary School
Dorothy Franklin began her teaching career 16 years ago as
a coordinating teacher for four-year-olds at a suburban Chicago
daycare center. After two years, she accepted a position as
a teacher's aide in the reading center of the Evanston Township
High School. During her ten years there, she received her
elementary teaching certificate with an endorsement in language
arts and embarked on a master's degree in reading. She also
developed and implemented a pull-out program for students
living below the poverty line who scored below the 35th percentile
on standardized tests in reading and math.
the past six years, she has taught sixth, seventh, and eighth
grade English language arts at DeWitt Clinton Elementary School
in Chicago, Illinois. Her hope is to inspire students who
did not receive adequate literacy experience in the critical
primary years. In the past, she sponsored a student newspaper
that received critical acclaim from Mayor Richard Daly, and
she now runs a drama club where she helps students write and
produce several shows each school year. Franklin has also
taken a leadership role in establishing a school-wide reading
team at Clinton, coordinating quarterly meetings, sharing
standards with school staff, and providing one-to-one support
for new teachers.
1999, Ms. Franklin won the Golden Apple Award for Excellence
in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation in Chicago, Illinois.
She then joined the foundation's newly formed Reading Interest
Group to draft a Reading Bill of Rights, which has since been
ratified by the foundation and accepted by Mayor Daly. The
committee, in concert with Chicago Public School administrators,
is spearheading a campaign to assist all schools in identifying
or hiring reading specialists.
2000, Ms. Franklin participated in the Chicago Area Writing
Project Summer Institute and now acts as teacher/consultant,
offering demonstrations for other educators. She has delivered
presentations at Clinton and Northeastern Illinois University
on literature-based instruction. She has published an article,
"Thinking about Thinking: A New Look at Comprehension,"
in the Illinois Reading Council Journal, and most recently
co-wrote a proposal to open a new charter school in Chicago.
Howard Doolin Middle School
Ana Hernandez earned her bachelor's degree in English education
from Florida International University in April 1997. While
at the university, she substitute taught in the Dade County
Public Schools and was a lead teacher for SummerLink '95 and
'96, a six-week program for inner-city minority children.
She has served as both vice president and president of the
university's Future Educators of America and was selected
to the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.
She was also founder and student editor of EduTrends, a monthly
newsletter for the Future Educators of America Organization.
1998, Ms. Hernandez was honored as the Sallie Mae Outstanding
First-Year Teacher for her work in the Campbell Drive Middle
School in Homestead, Florida. A member of the Phi Delta Kappa
National Education Honor Society, she has also served as vice
president and president of this organization.
Hernandez is currently working toward a Master of Science
degree in education at the University of Miami, focusing on
reading and learning disabilities. She teaches sixth and seventh
grade language arts to gifted students at the Howard A. Doolin
Middle School in Miami.
The Odyssey School
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Hoonan, a two-time participant in the Fullbright Teacher Exchange
to Great Britain, has 19 years of experience in public school
classrooms. He currently teaches the 5/6 cluster at Odyssey,
an alternative school for grades 1-8 on Bainbridge Island,
Washington, which features multi-age classes and a high level
of parent involvement. Although Hoonan teaches all subjects
in his cluster, his true passions are literature and writing.
Hoonan has a master's degree in teaching from Lesley College
in Massachusetts. Winner of the 1990 Christa MacAuliffe Award
for teaching excellence in Washington State, he has recently
seen his work published in Beyond Reading and Writing
by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and
Literature Circles and Response (Christopher-Gordon
Publishers, 1995). He is also a member of NCTE's Reading Commission,
and he serves as a consultant for school districts conducting
workshops on integrating reading, writing, poetry, and the
arts into instruction. Mr. Hoonan's teaching style has been
influenced by such notables as Judith Langer, Linda Rief,
Nancie Atwell, Donald Graves, and Jerome Harste.
Oyster River Middle School
Durham, New Hampshire
Linda Rief is a full-time eighth grade language arts teacher
at Oyster River Middle School in Durham, New Hampshire. She
is also an instructor in the University of New Hampshire's
Summer Reading and Writing Program and has taught graduate
courses for Northeastern University and Simmons College in
Boston, Massachusetts. She is the author of Seeking Diversity:
Language Arts with Adolescents (1992) and Vision and
Voice: Extending the Literacy Spectrum (1999) a
book and companion CD both published by Heinemann.
Several book chapters and articles have appeared in Portfolio
Portraits (ed. Donald Graves and Bonnie Sunstein), The
Portfolio Standard, Language Arts, Learning,
Educational Leadership, Instructor K-8, and
other professional journals. She is co-editor with Maureen
Barbieri of All That Matters: What Is It We Value in School
and Beyond? (Heinemann, 1995) and Workshop 6: The Teacher
as Writer (Heinemann, 1994). With Barbieri, she co-founded
and co-edited, for five years, Voices from the Middle,
a journal for middle school teachers, published by the National
Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She has also designed
and hosted two television series for the Massachusetts Corporation
for Educational Telecommunications in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2000, Ms. Rief was the recipient of NCTE's Edwin A. Hoey Award
for excellence in English Language Arts teaching, a finalist
for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year, and the recipient of
the New Hampshire English/Language Arts Teacher of the Year.
In 1999, she received the Richard W. Halle Award presented
by the middle school assembly of NCTE, and in 1988, she was
the recipient of one of two Kennedy Center Fellowships for
Teachers of the Arts.
Ms. Rief continues to conduct numerous workshops throughout
the U.S., sharing what her students know and are able to do
as readers, writers, and learners, her full-time commitment
remains with her students.
Sherburne-Earlville Middle School
Sherburne, New York
Schnabl, a sixth grade language arts teacher at Sherburne-Earlville
Middle School in Sherburne, New York, has made a career of
helping students connect literature to their own lives. She
began teaching 14 years ago at a high school in Guilderland,
New York. Within a year, she moved to Farnsworth Middle School,
also in Guilderland, and found her calling. Hired as a language
arts and social studies teacher, she came to realize that
integrated, thematic units helped students make connections
across the curriculum. Schnabl worked closely with other teachers
to plan these kinds of experiences.
1993, Ms. Schnabl wrote a chapter in the book Children
Exploring Their World: Theme Teaching in Elementary Schools.
Soon after, her classroom was highlighted in Instructor magazine
for a theme on architecture. In 1995, she was chosen to be
an assessor for the National Board for Professional Teaching
Standards. While in Guilderland, she also created a summer
"Boost" program for struggling readers.
Schnabl works with teachers throughout the area, with an emphasis
on implementing alternative teaching methods to help students
be more successful learners. She encourages teachers to communicate
with each other and find ways to integrate subject areas in
order to make learning more meaningful to students.
Picacho Middle School
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Tyler graduated from New Mexico State University in 1980 with
a degree in elementary education and an endorsement in K-12
special education. For 12 years, she worked as a special education
classroom teacher of students in kindergarten through ninth
grade, incorporating Nancie Atwell's vision of readers and
writers workshops into her own special education setting.
More recently, she has shifted to a regular classroom in the
hope of reaching a larger population of students. She currently
teaches sixth grade language arts at Picacho Middle School
in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Beginning in the 2001-2002 school
year, she will teach seventh grade language arts at Sierra
addition to challenging her students to take risks and stretch
their expectations, Ms. Tyler has also worked as mentor to
teachers who want to expand their own repertoire of classroom
skills and strategies. In this capacity, she has reached beyond
the walls of her own school to present at various conferences
at the district level.
Tyler credits the work of Yetta Goodman, Donald Graves, Nancie
Atwell, Lucy Calkins, Regie Routman, Linda Rief, David Lazear,
Thomas Armstrong, and Howard Gardner as influential to her
understanding of how people learn, as well as the approach
she takes to assessment in the classroom.
Advisors and Content Experts
A. Langer, Ph.D.
A. Langer is Professor of Education at the University at Albany,
State University of New York. She specializes in studies of
language, literacy, and learning. Her research focuses on
how people become highly literate, on how they use reading
and writing to learn, and on what this means for instruction.
major works examine the nature of literate thought-the knowledge
students use when they "make sense" and the ways
in which their learning is affected by activities and interactions
in the classroom. She has studied reading and writing development,
the ways in which understandings (envisionments) grow over
time, how particular literacy contexts affect language and
thought, and the contribution of literature to literate thought.
is presently studying the professional and classroom features
that accompany English programs where students are "beating
the odds" in literacy. Her work on envisionment building
has had a major impact on literature instruction and assessment.
She serves on many advisory boards and national reform groups
involved in reconceptualizing literacy education.
Langer has published in a wide variety of journals and collections.
Her books include Reader Meets Author/Bridging the Gap;
Understanding Reading and Writing Research; Children
Reading and Writing: Structures and Strategies; Language,
Literacy, and Culture: Issues of Society and Schooling;
How Writing Shapes Thinking: Studies of Teaching
and Learning; Literature Instruction: A Focus on Student
Response; Literature Instruction: Practice and Policy;
and Envisioning Literature: Literary Understanding and
Literature Instruction. Effective English Instruction
will soon be published.
Langer is Director of the National Research Center on English
Learning & Achievement (CELA) funded by the United States
Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and
Improvement. She is also chair of the Department of Educational
Theory and Practice.
Langer serves as the chief content advisor for all the projects
in the Envisioning Literature workshops and libraries,
including Conversations in Literature and Making
Meaning: A Video Library, Grades 6-8.
Allender currently serves as the Associate Executive Director
of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). A former
teacher in the Iowa City Community School District, Mr. Allender
has also lectured at Grinnell and Coe Colleges. He has also
served the language arts community as an Editorial Board Member
of The New Advocate, as representative-at-large for the Alliance
for Curriculum Reform, and in his current position as the
NCTE Liaison to the Iowa Council Teachers of English and Language
Arts Executive Board.
recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer
Institute for Native American Literature fellowship and numerous
other awards, Mr. Allender has also served as a consultant
and curriculum developer for a number of media projects, including
Songmasters: The American Road, a music recording of
traditional socially conscious songs performed by contemporary
popular music artists; Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards
Peace, a dialogue between Desmond Tutu and John Hope Franklin
and 21 international, multicultural high school students;
and Regret to Inform, an award-winning documentary
on widows from the Vietnam War, featured on PBS.
of Mr. Allenders recent publications include Deep
Reading: Building a Schematic Bridge Across World Mythology
and Multicultural Literature which appeared in Multicultural
Review, The Myth Ritual Theory and the Teaching of Multicultural
Literature, "Standing on the Border: Issues of
Identity and Border Crossing in Young Adult Literature,
and African and African American Voices and Experiences"
which is included in Adventuring with Books.
N. Applebee, Ph.D.
N. Applebee is Professor in the School of Education, University
at Albany, State University of New York, and (with Judith
Langer) is Director of the federally sponsored National Research
Center on English Learning and Achievement. The Center has
an active research and development agenda in elementary and
secondary instruction, in effective uses of technology, and
in teacher education.
his varied career, Dr. Applebee has worked in institutional
settings with children with severe learning problems, in public
schools, as a staff member of the National Council of Teachers
of English, and in research and professional education. He
joined the faculty at the University at Albany from Stanford
University in 1987, as part of a SUNY-wide Graduate Research
Initiative designed to place the University at Albany at the
forefront of literacy research in the United States.
degrees from Yale, Harvard, and the University of London,
Dr. Applebee's work focuses on how children and adults learn
the many specialized forms of language required for success
in school subjects, life, and work. His numerous books and
articles focus in particular on issues in curriculum and instruction
in reading, writing, and the English Language Arts. Since
the early 1970s, he has also worked with the National Assessment
of Educational Progress, helping to design, implement, interpret,
and report a continuing series of evaluations of the educational
attainment of U.S. students.
internationally recognized expert, Applebee consults at the
national, state, and district level on effective approaches
to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Dr. Applebee is
a former editor of Research in the Teaching of English, a
past president of the National Conference on Research in Language
and Literacy, and a recipient of the David H. Russell Award
for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English, from
the National Council of Teachers of English.
the K-12 Specialist in English Language Arts for the Maryland
State Department of Education, Frank Horstman works with a
variety of issues related to language development: curricular
design, instructional implementation, assessment, and school
improvement. Specific projects have ranged from kindergarten
MMSR training, to primary managing the Reading
Excellence Act Grant, to middle range finding for MWT
and MSPAP, through high school collaborating on the
development of the English High School Assessment. While he
received his formal training in applying theories in cognitive
psychology, linguistics, and classical rhetoric to improving
writing instruction, Dr. Horstman credits the training he
received from his English, journalism, and foreign language
students with helping him develop a very practical perspective
on English Language Arts. He also believes that serving as
both a staff development facilitator and an administrator
has helped him to see the learning process from still other
perspectives. Dr. Horstman welcomes the opportunity to support
educators across Maryland in their goal to improve student
achievement in English language arts.
Johnson, a native of the District of Columbia, holds a bachelor
of science in elementary education from D.C. Teachers College
with a minor in speech, a master's degree in reading from
University of the District of Columbia, and certification
in middle school foundations from National-Louis University.
Johnson has devoted her career to teaching in Washington's
inner city schools, beginning at Meyer Elementary School where
she taught grades three through six for 18 years. For the
past 11 years, she has been a reading instructor at Garnett-Patterson
Middle School (grades six through eight). At various points,
she has served as building resource teacher, standards specialist,
mentor teacher, the multicultural chairperson, member of the
personnel selection and textbook selection committees, spelling
bee coordinator, and sponsor of the ski club. She has also
won two Teacher-to-Teacher Awards for her work on instructional
materials designed to help children develop vocabulary, reading,
writing, and speaking skills. During the summer of 2000, she
worked as the assistant program manager for the Summer Arts
and Smarts Program offered by the D.C. Department of Parks
Penfield is Professor Emerita of English at the University
of New Orleans. She is the author of four books and numerous
articles published in state, regional, and national journals,
including Arizona English Bulletin, English Language
Arts Bulletin, and the ADE Bulletin. Her book Short
Takes, published by Harper Collins, is currently in its
seventh printing. She is a contributor to the Longman Bibliography
of Composition and Rhetoric, and her article "Freshman
English/Advanced Writing: How Do We Distinguish the Two?"
was published in On Teaching Advanced Writing. Together
with Charles Moran of the University of Massachusetts, she
edited the NCTE publication Conversations: Contemporary
Theory and the Teaching of Literature. Penfield has also
presented papers to many state, regional, and national groups,
including the Conference on College Composition and Communication
and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Penfield's principle areas of interest are composition and
rhetoric, and contemporary literature. She has consulted on
writing with schools throughout Louisiana and for the Wyoming
Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English. She has also
chaired the New Orleans Writing Project. At the University
of New Orleans, she has directed the freshman program, chaired
the English Department, and served as Associate Dean of Liberal