Life in the Radical Middle

From Ruth Schoenbach: I first met David in the late 90’s at a national meeting where—on the side—I had a chance to show him a couple videos of interviews with 9th grade students that my colleague Cyndy Greenleaf had conducted as part of a 2-year teacher research project we were doing in SFUSD schools. He immediately saw and was excited by what we had seen in students’ capacity to articulate their reading processes and pulled in Peg Griffin, saying, “You gotta see these kids!”

A few years later, as Cyndy and I were in dialogue with others working in the area of adolescent literacy, David’s phrase “the radical middle” helped us more than once as we articulated the ways we wanted to balance social and personal classroom supports with strong expectations for rigorous academic work for the students many teachers believed “couldn’t do that kind of work.” David wrote two beautiful forwards for our first and second edition of Reading for Understanding, and has always been such a reliable and sweet supporter of the uphill road we’ve been on over these past 2+ decades.

Thank you so much, David!


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