National Writing Project

Fecho, Blau Receive Prestigious NCTE Awards

By: NWP Staff
Publication: The Voice, Vol. 10, No. 1
Date: 2005

Summary: Two NWP site directors, Bob Fecho and Sheridan Blau, received awards from the National Council of Teachers of English for their newly published books...


Two National Writing Project site directors, Bob Fecho and Sheridan Blau, received awards from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) at its Conference on English Education luncheon in Indianapolis on November 19, 2004.

Bob Fecho, a director of the Red Clay Writing Project in Georgia, received the James N. Britton Award for his book "Is This English?": Race, Language, and Culture in the Classroom (Teachers College Press, 2004). NCTE gives the Britton Award to encourage English language teacher development by promoting reflective inquiry in which teachers raise questions about teaching and learning in their own teaching/learning settings.

"The book documents the way my students and I took a critical inquiry stance on issues of language learning, identity, race, and culture," said Fecho. "In this book, I chronicle our struggles and successes as we strived to make meaning of our worlds through literacy practice.

"Winning is especially thrilling because James Britton was an early influence on my efforts to become a reflective practitioner, a teacher who inquires into and reflects upon his classroom," Fecho said. "By winning this award, I feel I've helped to keep the legacy of James Britton alive."

Fecho taught English for 24 years for the School District of Philadelphia and has taught at the University of Georgia since 1998.

Sheridan Blau, the director of the South Coast Writing Project in Santa Barbara, California, received the Richard A. Meade award for his book The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers (Heinemann, 2003). The Meade Award honors published research that investigates English/language arts teacher development at any educational level, of any scope or setting.

Blau's Literature Workshop offers a series of remarkable teaching and learning activities. Among these activities are an essay assignment based on think-alouds during the first and subsequent readings of an unfamiliar poem, a paper revision requiring citations from other papers on the same story written by class members, and a midterm report and analysis of reading-log entries.

A past president of NCTE and teacher of literature for two generations of students, Blau directs the Literature Institute for Teachers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is a senior faculty member in the departments of English and Education.

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