Coming To Craft and Coming Of Age: Teaching Advanced Placement English In The Classroom-Workshop
This article explores the lived experiences of Advanced Placement English teachers in public high school, as the author addresses the question: "What is it like to teach Advanced Placement English while caught in the tension between teaching and testing?" The phenomenological text constructed from conversations and written reflections with six Advanced Placement teachers brings forth aspects of the experience of dwelling aright in the Zone of Between in AP English teaching: between teaching and testing, high school and college, and childhood and adulthood. The teachers use the exam as a foundation for courage and encouragement, confidence and passion building, and creative ways-of-being with students. The study suggests a need for Advanced Placement teachers to participate in the development of curriculum, to retain the autonomy to teach from the self, and to be trusted to provide students with meaningful experiences in the art and craft of literature study. The article also reveals the importance of widening the narrow definition of student achievement to include more than test scores.
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