Genocide Literature in Middle and Secondary Classrooms: Rhetoric, Witnessing, and Social Action in a Time of Standards and Accountability, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Genocide Literature in Middle and Secondary Classrooms

Rhetoric, Witnessing, and Social Action in a Time of Standards and Accountability, 1st Edition

By Sarah Donovan


168 pages

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At the heart of this inquiry into the ethical implications of education reform on reading practices in middle and secondary classrooms, the central question is what is lost, hidden, or marginalized in the name of progress? Drawing on her own experiences as an English teacher during the No Child Left Behind era, the author examines school cultures focused on meeting standards and measurable outcomes. She shows how genocide literature illuminates the ethics of reading and helps teachers and students rethink how literature should be taught in this modern, globalized era and the purposes of education more broadly.

Table of Contents



Part I: Mandates

  1. The Education of a Teacher: The First Year
  2. Reading and Meeting a Mandate to Study Genocide
  3. Part II: Rhetoric, Witnessing, and the Witness

  4. The Rhetoric of the Word: A Case Study of Bosnia Herzegovina
  5. Reading Testimony: Witnessing and the Witness
  6. Part III: Rhetorical Appeals in Fiction

  7. The Rhetoric and Aesthetic of Fiction in Genocide Literature
  8. The Ethics of a Child Narrator
  9. Emotional Appeals, Trauma, and Aesthetic Pleasure
  10. Rational Appeals and Didacticism
  11. Part IV: Into the Classroom

  12. The Writing Workshop
  13. A Teacher’s Testimony: Michael Krzysztofiak

  14. Whole-Class Reading, Research, and Activism
  15. A Teacher’s Testimony: Elaine Vogel

  16. The Reading Workshop
  17. A Teacher’s Testimony: Sumer Samano

  18. Assessment: No More Numbers and Letters
  19. A Teacher’s Testimony: Amy Estanislao

  20. Conclusion: The Education of a Teacher Continues

About the Author

Sarah J. Donovan teaches middle school English in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, USA, and is an adjunct at DePaul University (Social and Cultural Foundations in Education), USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Reading & Phonics