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Reconciling Competing Missions of English Education: A Story of Pedagogical Realism

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English teaching that satisfies curricula standards has often been siloed from instruction that advances the goals of social justice. Exasperated teachers may feel they can either meet the day-to-day demands of their profession or teach to dismantle social inequities, but not achieve the aims of both approaches. In this reflective practitioner piece, the authors offer pedagogical realism as a means to negotiate and reconcile these seemingly dichotomous orientations to English teaching. Using narrative inquiry, the authors illustrate a pedagogical realist approach to teaching ‘The Wife of Bath’s Tale’. This pedagogical anecdote intends to show both in-service teachers and teacher educators how they can teach for social justice while delivering ‘traditional’ materials.
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Keywords: Literature; pedagogy; social justice; teacher education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA 2: English, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA

Publication date: October 2, 2018

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