National Writing Project

The First Year of Teaching: Classroom Research to Increase Student Learning

Jabari Mahiri and Sarah Warshauer Freedman

List price: $39.95
NWP's Price: $29.96

For first-year teachers entering the nation's urban schools, the task of establishing a strong and successful practice is often extremely challenging. In this compelling look at first-year teachers' practice in urban schools, editors Jabari Mahiri and Sarah Warshauer Freedman demonstrate how a program of systematic classroom research by teachers themselves enables them to effectively target instruction and improve their own practice. The book organizes the teachers' research into three broad areas, corresponding to issues the new teachers identified as the most challenging:

  • Crafting Curriculum—how to engage students in learning curricular content, develop their abilities to meet standards, and prepare them for college or careers.
  • Complicating Culture—how to build on the different languages and cultures found in contemporary schools.
  • Conceptualizing Control—how to manage a classroom of 30 or more teenagers and create a climate where learning can take place

The First Year of Teaching offers an array of classroom scenarios that will spark in-depth discussions in teacher preparation classes and professional development workshops, particularly in the context of problem-based, problem-posing pedagogies.


"The First Year of Teaching offers us knowledge about urban schools which we could only get by academics and teachers working together. Documenting three themes concerning the complications of curriculum, culture, and control, we learn significant practices that make a difference for new teachers and their students. This is a must-read for teachers, researchers, and policymakers who want to improve urban education now."
Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar, Stanford University

"This volume marvelously demonstrates how teaching and learning can be improved by positioning new teachers as researchers within a systematic process for increasing their effectiveness in complex, diverse city schools. Through each seamlessly integrated chapter the authors show us how critical teacher inquiry can provide the meaningful insight and stance needed to inspire engaged pedagogical practice. The First Year of Teaching will serve as a tremendous resource for preservice teacher education, professional development programs across the career span, and university classes on urban education and teacher learning."
Ernest Morrell, Director, Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

About the Editors
Jabari Mahiri and Sarah Warshauer Freedman are professors in the language, literacy, and culture program in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley.

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