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Judith M. Newman
Toronto, OISE Press, 1991. 421pp, paper, $24.50
ISBN 0-43508712-6. CIP


Reviewed by Gail K. Lennon

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Dr. Newman is at present an education consultant and professor of education at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her publication Whole Language: Theory in Use (Heinemann, 1985) has been used extensively as a language textbook in teacher education.

This text is an exciting account of the progress of a group of twenty-one teachers at a two-week summer in-service workshop on writing. Through modelling, interacting and reflecting, Newman showed participants how to take charge of their own thinking and teaching. She demonstrates how to organize the learning environment, how to conference, how to write, revise, edit and celebrate the work of learner and teacher as writers.

Interwoven Conversations offers reflective practice in action. Through the use of stories, daily diaries and reflective journals, the author describes in detail the ten days of the summer institute. The reader experiences the workshop through the multiple voices of teacher and student colleague-writers.

The main purpose of the summer institute, and thus this book, is to emphasize for the writer and reader the connections between what we read and what we write. Through­out the workshop, Newman refers to works by other writers to give ideas to the writer who is struggling with a beginning, a way of describing something, or other technical problems.

Interwoven Conversations is one of those rare professional volumes that reinforce what we as teachers believe to be important to our student readers/writers at any grade level. But it is more than that. It is a vicarious journey through a two-week professional growth experience. It provides reinforcement for our philosophical bases, at the same time nudging us to consider alternatives and further steps. The articles reproduced in the appendix and the extensive bibliography and index will prove invaluable to the teacher and/or for research.

I would recommend this book for any professional or personal library.

Gail K. Lennon, Walkerton District Secondary School, Walkerton, Ont.

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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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