July 2019 #NCTEchat: Questioning and Reimagining Our Teaching of the Canon - National Council of Teachers of English
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July 2019 #NCTEchat: Questioning and Reimagining Our Teaching of the Canon

Join us this Sunday, July 21, at 8:00 p.m. ET for an #NCTEchat about questioning and reimagining the canon with host Mary Styslinger (@MaryStyslinger), author of Workshopping the Canon.

It’s an exciting time to be an English teacher because now, more than ever, teachers are finding ways to teach texts that aren’t the same as the ones they were taught in school, and that their teachers were taught before them. Ever-evolving research on how we learn and the value of choice and connection in fostering literacy has encouraged the growth of classroom libraries, a proliferation of young adult literature, book clubs, a workshop approach to teaching reading at the secondary level, and much more.

But not every district or school is on board with these innovations. And some teachers would argue there is value in the canon with which we are all familiar, that we should not toss it out entirely. As a result, many teachers find themselves in the tricky space of wanting to bring these new innovations and fresh ideas to their practice but still navigating requirements and reasons to stick with older texts, too.

This Twitter chat is inspired by Workshopping the Canon, this year’s NCTE Reads book, which offers practical ideas and philosophical frameworks for teaching in these changing times. We hope the questions offer participants an opportunity to wrestle with the promise of the new as well as openly consider what is of worth in the old. We look forward to learning with you!


The following questions will be shared during the Twitter chat, after introductions:

Q1. What do you think of when you hear the words “classic” or “canon?”  What are your experiences reading or teaching classical or canonical literature? #NCTEchat [8:10 p.m.]

Q2. Summer is a great time to reenvision our teaching. What is a favorite YA novel, picture book, poem, song, movie, article, or essay that you could partner with a “classic?” #NCTEchat [8:18 p.m.]

Q3. How can you use a reading workshop structure to revitalize your teaching of the canon? #NCTEchat [8:26 p.m.]

Q4. What are some innovative ways you’ve helped students explore writing in relation to the canon? #NCTEchat [8:34 p.m.]

Q5. What can we do to diversify the canon? #NCTEchat [8:42 p.m.]

Q6. Is it possible to use the canon to teach for social justice? If so, how? #NCTEchat [8:50 p.m.]


We hope to see you there! Be sure to join us by using #NCTEchat.

Never participated in a Twitter chat before? Check out this guide to help you get started.