Curated Journal Resources - National Council of Teachers of English

NCTE Journals offer a wealth of resources on just about any topic you can imagine related to the teaching and learning of English. On this page we will offer some curated resources from our journals that address particular topics or issues.


Resolution on Teaching in a Time of Crisis (Nov. 30. 2001)


Language Arts


Language Arts, Vol. 94, No. 5, May 2017
Issue Theme: Trauma, Loss, and Literacies

This issue of Language Arts explores the complexities of considering trauma in literacy classrooms and the need to foster pedagogies that approach children’s trauma critically and compassionately. The Children’s Literature Reviews column discusses books for children experiencing and overcoming trauma.


Talking Points


How to Kill a Chicken: Valuing Local Knowledge in a Second-Grade ESL/Sheltered Classroom
Jessica Kerley Gaeckle (May 2002)

Gaeckle reminds us that support may be as simple as valuing our students’ life experiences.


College Composition and Communication


Disturbing Public Memory in Community Writing Partnerships
Laurie Grobman (September 2017)

This article analyzes a public memory pedagogical partnership that disturbed the public memory of a community organization as an egalitarian space. How students, community partners, and the author negotiated privately and represented publicly this legacy of the United States’ worst shame required all participants to figure out what partnership and collaboration mean in this context, whose interests come first and why, and the ethical implications of their choices.


Vignette: Of Ballparks and Battlefields
Peter Wayne Moe (September 2014)

In this article, the author discusses the immediate outcomes of bomb threats at the university where he was completing his studies in 2012. He is left with the unanswered question, “[W]hat is my responsibility to my students—to my family—in continuing to hold class in a location of terror?”


Vignette: Writing in the Cone of Uncertainty: An Argument for Sheltering in Place
Doreen Piano (September 2014)

Challenged by dislocation and loss, students rallied to meet the author’s expectations while reworking assignments to suit their own needs.




Responding to Student Traumatic Writing: A Psychologist’s View
John MacDevitt  (December 2013)

A counseling center psychologist / composition instructor applies psychological research and his experience to the question of how to respond to personal expressive writing in the classroom.


Breathing to Write: Moments of Yoga in First-Year Composition (What Works for Me)
Mara Lee Grayson (May 2017)

This teacher uses yoga and breathing techniques to calm her FYC students after disaster drills in their NYC school.


English Education


Writing Wounded: Trauma, Testimony, and Critical Witness in Literacy Classrooms
Elizabeth Dutro (January 2011)

The author considers how difficult experiences—exposed wounds and the exposing of wounds—function in literacy classrooms.


Voices from the Middle


LEADING THE CALL What’s Radical about Youth Writing?: Seeing and Honoring Youth Writers and Their Literacies
Marcelle M. Haddix (March 2018)

The author discusses her powerful writing experience with her urban out-of-school writing project, Writing Our Lives. Students find a safe space to express their thoughts and share with peers, even voluntarily, on Saturdays! She discovered that urban students do want to write, but it is up to the teacher and community to listen to the students as they guide us through the process to engage their voices and create radical, aware citizens.


To Open Hearts (Vol. 5, No. 1, Feb. 1998)
Maureen Barbieri (republished September 2017)

The author notes how poetry and teaching poetry is a way to pay attention to the world, to feel connected to other people—a conduit to each student’s truest discoveries, offering solace and courage and wisdom and survival.


Difficult Days and Difficult Texts (Vol. 9, No. 2, Dec. 2001)
Robert E. Probst (republished September 2017)

Probst suggests that all teaching in literature classes is in some ways preparation for national tragedies such as the one that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. He argues that teachers teach students to read events such as these by showing them how to move from reaction to reflection, and from image to empathy; and to write so that they capture their thinking, reexamine it, and present it to others.


Impossible Days and Simple Texts
Robert E. Probst (September 2017)

A decade-plus after 9/11, we have entered a world with a flood of information. We are aware of nationwide and worldwide events more quickly, in more detail, and with less factual evidence than ever before. It has become clear that there is no possible way to avoid politics when teaching literacy in the current US classroom. Teachers must find a way to encourage students to be skeptical of the news and find the truth in the glut of instant information and “eyewitness” accounts that are currently available.


STUDENT VOICES: Bastille Day, or Why We Need Books More Than Ever in Our Students’ Lives
Linda Rief (March 2017)

Linda Rief crafts this column, writing alongside her middle school students, to show the beauty and possibilities that lie within the words our students use to make sense of their world. In this issue, she discusses books and stories of everyday heroes that teachers can share with students to help them “understand, forgive, and reimagine the world, even in the worst of its behavior.”


English Journal


Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book: #BlackLivesMatter: When Real Life and YA Fiction Converge
Tricia Ebarvia, Kimberly Parker, and Pauline Skowron Schmidt (May 2018)

This book review/discussion column points to the ways issues raised in the YA novels The Hate U Give and Dear Martin connect to students’ daily lives.


Dealing with and Writing about Death
Gregory Shafer (November 2017)

This article focuses on the death of the author’s sister, the discussion and project that it inspired, and the many essays that emanated from the experience.


Give Sorrow Words: A Lesson Learned”
Carol Aten Frow and Miranda Rae Filak (November 2017)

The authors discuss how teachers can help students grieve through the power of writing.


One Teacher’s Experiences: Responding to Death through Language
Lisa Beckelhimer (November 2017)

The author argues that English teachers are in a unique position to respond to death through writing, reading, and speaking.


Associative Mourning: Learning to Lose through Literature
Brittany Rose Collins (November 2017)

The author reviews current literature regarding the practices of reading and writing about death and pulls in her personal experiences with her parents’ deaths and the comfort she found through literature.


Liberatory Grief: The One Truly Serious Pedagogical Problem
Eric S. Piotrowski (November 2017)

Explores how writing practice and conscious conversations help students struggling with grief, loss, and trauma.


November 2006: Teaching English after 9/11
Ken Lindblom, guest editor

The entire issue includes perspectives on teaching after a national trauma and includes reflections from a Muslim teacher and those considered “other.” In particular, see Raquel Cook’s article “Beyond Tolerance: Teaching English in a Post-9/11 Classroom”. She was motivated to become a teacher after 9/11.

The Teacher to Teacher and Tools for Teaching columns both provide lists of books that teachers have found helpful.


May 2000: A Curriculum of Peace
Virginia Monseau, editor

Read the editor’s introduction here. Articles include discussions of promoting peace in the classroom, ways to encourage interpersonal connection through sharing stories, and other strategies for discussing difference and tolerance with students.


September 1995: Violence in Our Schools
Leila Christenbury, editor

Although this issue is approaching its silver anniversary, the topic remains relevant. As of May 18, there have been 41 school shootings in the 20 weeks of 2018.


Research in the Teaching of English


Rewriting Struggles as Strength: Young Adults’ Reflections on the Significance of Their High School Poetry Community
Logan Manning (February 2016)

In a moment when schools are failing to meet the needs of many youth, recent research has suggested that relational and art-based pedagogies, such as spoken word poetry, offer possibilities for repurposing classrooms to meet the needs of students who have experienced marginalization in schools and other institutions.


Forum: Moving, Feeling, Desiring, Teaching
Gail Boldt, Cynthia Lewis, and Kevin M. Leander (May 2015)

In this set of essays, the authors argue for the importance of affect and emotion in literacy education, teacher education, and classroom life.


College English


A Pedagogy of Rhetorical Looking: Atrocity Images at the Intersection of Vision and Violence
Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Scott Gage, and Katherine Bridgman (September 2017)

This essay discusses the ways images can be manipulated to influence personal and public reactions to violent events—revealing agency and answerability in looking.


English Leadership Quarterly


English Leadership Quarterly, Volume 33, Number 4, April 2011
Issue Theme: Peace, Love, and Understanding

Guest editor Judson Laughter says, “I believe that English language arts teachers are ideally placed to be effective agents of change in developing a world that can imagine a better way.” Articles include reflective journaling as the best way to understand ourselves—the basis for imagining a better world; what happens when we fail, especially in that critical first year of teaching; how to create that safe place in our classrooms; and a reminder that peace may be a foreign concept to students who have grown up under the specter of active, perpetual war.


English Leadership Quarterly, Volume 31, Number 2, October 2008
Issue Theme: The Deadly Power of Mean Words

This issue contains two articles we hope will provide readers with talking points specifically related to the negative impact of words: “How does that hurt?: Encouraging Teacher Leadership That Confronts Linguistic Violence in a Popular Culture Media” and “Rescuing LGBT Issues from ‘No Child Left Behind,’ Standardization, and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” (Howard Miller). The latter is accompanied by a commentary by key members of the Gay, Straight Educators Alliance (CSEA) of NCTE. Also included is Charles H. Golden’s review of Cultural Practices of Literacy: Case Studies of Language, Literacy, Social Practice, and Power, edited by Victoria Purcell-Gates.


Blog Posts




Here are a few recent journal articles that adress ways in which teachers can create spaces for student activism, and reflections on what happens when they do.

“An Offense to Their Human Rights”: Connecting Bud, Not Buddy to the Flint Water Crisis with Middle School ELA Students

by Matthew Knieling
Voices from the Middle 
Through this case study . . . I started understanding the potential for students to truly experience ownership over their education. Moreover, I learned to support through silence.

Leveraging Digital Literacies for Equity and Social Justice

by Detra Price-Dennis and Selena Carrion
Language Arts

We recognize that when students have choice, layered with space for social justice inquiry and collaboration through digital tools, the curriculum becomes more inviting and grounded in their lived experiences.

Black Girls and Critical Media Literacy for Social Activism

by Sherell A. McArthur
English Education

Educators can use education as a site of transformation by being deliberate and intentional in their instruction to empower students to be conduits of social change. We can do this by connecting youth to the rich cultural histories they are a part of.

We Are Doing Our Best, Sam, to Listen and Learn

by Linda Rief
Voices from the Middle
Our job, as it was years ago and still is today, is to help our students make meaningful choices. Today, those choices are often made, or should be made, in digital and global classrooms that allow students a real, varied, and wide audience for solving real problems.


A series by Bryan Christopher illustrating a group of students banding together to free their fellow student: