“Sometimes Talk is Just Talk” by Garn Press Author Curt Dudley-Marling

Curt Dudley-Marling is the author of Preparing the Nation’s Teachers to Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like Me”

The renowned scholar, Marilyn Cochran Smith writes in the introduction to Preparing the Nation’s Teachers, “Although Curt himself describes his book as “polemical,” I don’t find it so. The book is outspoken and bold, to be sure, and the same critics who attacked the positions Curt attempted to explain in his posts on the Literacy Leaders listserv (described in his introduction to the book) will undoubtedly reject and attack his ideas here as well, if they ever have the occasion to read them. But polemics are often all ideology and no data, all passion and no reasoned principles of practice, all opposition and no proposition about alternative approaches and perspectives. Curt’s book isn’t like that at all. His propositions are grounded in a consistent, research-based, and principled theoretical framework for understanding the nature of teaching and learning to read, with many references to highly-regarded and well-vetted empirical research and to actual classroom experiences (his own and others’) that support and helped to generate these propositions. His oppositions, especially to NCTQ’s operating assumptions about reading, teaching reading, and preparing teachers to teach reading, are also grounded in carefully explained and principled theoretical frameworks, which are widely shared by literacy scholars and practitioners around the country and the world.”

About Curt Dudley-Marling

Curt Dudley-Marling recently retired from Boston College after 33 years working in schools of education at universities in the US and Canada. Curt began his career as an elementary special education teacher working for 7 years in schools in Ohio and Wisconsin before earning his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Curt briefly resumed his classroom teaching career in the early 1990s, taking a one-year leave from his duties at York University in Toronto to teach 3rd grade.

Over the course of his academic career, Curt Dudley-Marling taught courses in language and literacy including early reading and writing methods courses for prospective teachers. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters and 14 books, much of this work focusing on language and literacy, Disability Studies, and classroom talk. Overall, his scholarship stands as a critique of deficit perspectives that implicate the families, culture, and language of students living in poverty in their high levels of school failure. His most recent research examines the effect of evidence-based discussion in elementary classrooms, particularly for students who are presumed to be at risk for educational failure.

In addition to his scholarly work, Curt has worked extensively in the schools helping teachers improve their practice with young readers and writers. Curt Dudley-Marling is a former co-editor of the NCTE journal Language Arts and former chair of NCTE’s Elementary Section. In 2014 he was honored as the first Kate Welling Distinguished Scholar in Disability Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Curt Dudley-Marling’s book, Preparing the Nation’s Teachers to Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like Me”, is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

012-defense-of-teachers-curt-dudley-marling-garn-pressPreparing the Nation’s Teachers to Teach Reading: A Manifesto in Defense of “Teacher Educators Like Me”

Paperback: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
eBook: Amazon (Kindle discounted ebook just $2.99 with the purchase of the print book) | Barnes & Noble | Kobo eBooks
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-942146-20-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-942146-21-6





Book Description

Curt Dudley-Marling offers a spirited defense of the work of university-based teacher educators to prepare the nation’s teachers to teach reading. He provides a damning analysis of reports by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), which claim that teacher educators are doing a poor job of preparing teachers to teach reading. He also details the theory and research that support the meaning-based approach to reading advocated by many university-based reading educators. He concludes that the ultimate goal of many educational reform groups like NCTQis to undercut public support for traditional public schools to pave the way for free market-based schooling based on competition and profit, where literacy is a commodity to be exchanged in the marketplace and individuals are mere cogs in an economic machine. Now available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ebook now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and Kobo eBooks.


“This manifesto comes not a moment too soon. Curt Dudley-Marling offers a spirited defense of teacher educators rooted in the reasons they choose to teach. Those in the trenches will greatly appreciate the fresh ammunition he provides.” –Anthony Cody, Author of The Educator and Oligarch

“One of the most important scholars on literacy.” P.L. Thomas, author of Beware the Roadbuilders: Literature as Resistance published by Garn Press.

“… A robust defense of an educational approach that is shockingly out of fashion in the policy world: a meaning-centered education that is irreducible to standardized test scores.” – Peter Smagorinsky, University of Georgia

“This book should be required reading for everyone preparing to teach children to read, everyone currently teaching children to read, everyone who knows a child who is being taught to read, and everyone who makes policy about teaching children to read.” – Carole Edelsky, Arizona State University


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