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Editorial: Help, Hypocrisy, and Holding On
Tara Star Johnson

Critical Questioning in and beyond the Margins: Teacher Preparation Students’ Multimodal Inquiries into Literacy Assessment
Katrina Bartow Jacobs and David E. Low
Abstract: This article explores the potential of using multimodal texts—particularly comics—as a way of engaging teacher education students in critical inquiry around literacy and ELA assessments. We describe a qualitative study into the use of a multimodal comics-form article within an ELA/literacy assessment course in an MEd program. Our findings suggest that teacher preparation students were able to effectively remix and play with both comics tropes and more traditional “academic” writerly discourses. The use of multimodal texts in teacher preparation helped students engage in dialogic and critical forms of inquiry around issues related to classroom practices and policies. We end by suggesting ways that English teacher educators can include similar texts and activities in their courses and teacher preparation programs.

How English Language Arts Teachers Are Prepared for Twenty-First-Century Classrooms: Results of a National Study
Samantha Caughlan, Donna L. Pasternak, Heidi L. Hallman, Laura Renzi, Leslie S. Rush, and Michael Frisby
Abstract: A national study of English teacher preparation in U.S. colleges and universities revealed that faculty address changes in content and context salient to English education, particularly curricular, demographic, political, and technological changes, through initiatives at both the program and methods course levels. Programs require many hours of field placements and high numbers of credit hours in the subject area and in subject-specific methods, and also distribute the responsibility for addressing institutional and pedagogical change across courses. Methods courses raise awareness of focal issues and allow opportunities for preservice teachers to discuss these issues. However, opportunities are scarcer for applying knowledge by putting it into practice. This article discusses tensions in English education as they relate to conceptual coherence at the program and course levels, as well as tensions between what we call awareness versus application.

Provocateur Piece : A History of Our Field
Adam Wolfsdorf, with Jeff Spanke, Erick Gordon, Jamila J. Lyiscott, Robert Tremmel, and Ruth Vinz
Abstract: As a field of study, English has a far more recent history than most educators realize. While the subject is taught in each of the 35,000 secondary schools and 4,000 colleges in the United States, most English teachers know relatively little about the field’s origins or trajectory. “A History of Our Field” makes its way through major moves and figures that have helped to transform and define our subject, shedding light on our past. The five response poems that follow trouble, extend, and make personal this history. As a collection, the poems embody the field’s past, present, and future debates in a form that is both entertaining and educative, playful and serious.