Confronting Practice: Classroom Investigations Into Language and Learning

Author: Brenton Doecke, Douglas McClenaghan, Publisher: Phoenix

Confronting Practice: Classroom Investigations into Language and Learning comprises stories by Douglas McClenaghan, in which he provides richly detailed accounts of his work as an English teacher in a state secondary school in Melbourne. These stories are juxtaposed with writing of a more analytical character that teases out their significance for understanding teaching and learning. The book begins with the everyday world of Douglas’s professional practice, and continually returns to this world in an effort to trace the larger structures and relationships that mediate his pedagogy in the local setting in which he works.

The book offers a fresh look at issues in English language education, offering an original synthesis of ideas and intellectual traditions in the field. This dimension of the inquiry gives rise to another set of questions, specifically related to English curriculum and pedagogy:

  • How can English teachers enable their students to experience a rich and meaningful curriculum vis-à-vis the forms of accountability imposed by standardized testing and a competitive academic curriculum?
  • What perspective do students’ out-of-school literacy practices provide on the literacy practices that they are obliged to perform in schools? What can English teachers learn from the out-of-school literacy practices in which students engage?
  • How can English teachers enable students to develop a critical perspective on their lives and the society around them?

In tackling these questions, this book takes its place alongside key studies that have contributed to an understanding of the ways in which students engage in the English curriculum and schooling in general.


  1. Stepping Inside a Classroom
  2. Confronting Practice
  3. Writing Our Way In
  4. Autobiographies
  5. Learning from ‘Experience’
  6. Texts and Textuality
  7. Beginning Again
More Information
Date of Publication 2011
ISBN 9781921586439
Subject English