Publication Date: September 17, 2009
Series: Practitioner Inquiry Series
In her new book, bestselling author Cynthia Ballenger explores the intellectual strengths of students whom teachers find “puzzling”—poor, urban, immigrant, or bilingual children who do not traditionally excel in school. Ballenger challenges the assumption that these children—whose families in many cases have less formal education, read fewer storybooks, and talk less with their children about school-like topics—have fewer intellectual or academically relevant experiences. This practical book offers a detailed roadmap for traversing the daily work of teaching today’s diverse population, and helping educators refine their work as it unfolds in the classroom. Ballenger guides the reader as she analyzes what the children said, what this indicates about their thinking, and how her dialogues with them informed her teaching.
Cynthia Ballenger is a reading specialist, science teacher, and one of the founding members of the Brookline Teacher Researcher Seminar. Her books include Teaching Other People's Children: Literacy and Learning in a Bilingual Classroom and the edited volume Regarding Children’s Words: Teacher Research on Language and Literacy.
“Ballenger remains a teacher with the focus of a researcher and a researcher with the soul of a teacher.”
—Bob Fecho, University of Georgia
“Any teacher—or teacher educator—who finds herself wondering how teacher research could improve her teaching needs to read Puzzling Moments, Teachable Moments.”
—Helen Featherstone, Michigan State University, Emerita
“Ballenger’s fascinating exploration of ‘teaching as research’ offers lucid, rich, and compelling images of what it means for educators to learn from children how best to teach them.”
—Susan L. Lytle, Associate Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania, and coauthor of Inquiry as Stance: Practitioner Research for the Next Generation