Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



DBER Group Discussion on 2013‐09‐12


Copyright (c) 2013 Lauren Gatti


In this talk, Dr. Lauren Gatti will share findings from a year‐long, multi‐case study exploring how novice teachers learn to teach English in urban schools. She will focus on the learning to teach process of one novice teacher, Margaret, who was placed in a Chicago middle school for her student teaching. Through this case, she will illustrate why and how disciplinary aims matter for those learning to teach English in classrooms that emphasize college readiness as the larger disciplinary goal and use scores on high‐stakes testing (i.e. ACT or state testing) to measure “successful” learning in English. She argues that the “college readiness” aims embedded within Margaret’s curricula in combination with her larger disciplinary aims—English to what end?—shaped the version of the discipline she was able to construct within her classroom where the intellectual work of English was largely framed as preparation for a State Achievement Test. While this talk will emphasize disciplinary construction in the field of English education, discussion will focus on why and how disciplinary aims in other fields (i.e., STEM) and to what effect.