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In Teacher Education and the Cultural Imagination: Autobiography, Conversation, and Narrative, Florio-Ruane and deTar present an account of their investigation of the use of autobiography and the role of conversation in teacher education. To facilitate rich autobiographically-focused teacher-to-teacher conversations, Florio-Ruane draws on a book-club format. As a veteran primary-grade teacher who has worked hard to enact culturally-informed, child-responsive literacy practices in the classroom, as a teacher educator who advocates the use of autobiography as a site for teacher learning, as a curriculum theorist who sees autobiography as a rich source of both curriculum theory and curriculum practice, and as a researcher who witnessed first hand the power and potential of the 'book-club' model for teacher professional development, I found Teacher Education and the Cultural Imagination both engaging and informative. In the essay that follows, I discuss the significance of this new book in terms the enduring realities in US education. I also situate the book within the educational literature concerning autobiographical-based curriculum inquiry, and, finally, I link Florio-Ruane's new book to my own research on the professional lives of teachers working under intensified conditions of educational accountability.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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