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Sheridan Blau

Professional Background

Educational Background

Scholarly Interests

The Teaching and Learning of Literature
The Teaching and Learning of Composition
Seventeenth Century British Literature
Student Development in Academic Discourse
The Professional Development of Teachers of English
The Disciplinary History and Practice of English Education

Selected Publications

Representative Publications:

"Milton's Salvational Aesthetic." Journal of Religion, 1966.

"The Poet as Casuist:Herbert's 'Church Porch,'" Genre,   Vol. IV, No. 2, 1971.

"Reflections on True and False Knowledge: A Homily for English Teachers." Journal of English Teaching Techniques, 1981.

"Literacy as a Form of Courage." Journal of Reading, 1981.

"Invisible Writing: Investigating Cognitive Processes in Composition." College Composition and Communication, 1983.

"Contexts for Competence in Composition." The Quarterly, October, 1987.
"Teacher Development and the Revolution in Teaching," English Journal, April 1988
"Thinking and the Liberation of Attention: The Uses of Free and Invisible Writing." Chapter in Nothing Begins with an N: Freewriting Reconsidered. Pat Belanoff, Peter Elbow, and Sheryl Fontaine, eds. Southern Illinois University Press, 1990.

"Transactions Between Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Literature." Chapter in Literature Instruction: Practice and Policy. James Flood and Judith Langer, eds. Scholastic Press: Leadership, Policy, and Research series, 1994.

"Toward the Separation of School and State." Language Arts, Vol. 75, February, 1998.

“Politics and the English Language Arts.” Chapter in The Fate of Progressive Language Policies and Practices. C. Dudley-Marling & C. Edelsky, eds. NCTE, 2001.

The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers. Heinemann, 2003.

“College Writing, Academic Literacy, and the Intellectual Community: California Dreams and Cultural Oppositions.” Chapter in What is College Level Writing. P. Sullivan and H. Tinberg, eds.  NCTE 2006.

“Believing and Doubting as Hermeneutic Method: Reading and Teaching Paradise Lost.” Journal of the Assembly for Advanced Perspectives on Learning. Forthcoming, 2010. 

biographical information

Sheridan Blau, Ph.D., is the Distinguished Senior Lecturer in English Education and Coordinator of the TC Program in the Teaching of English. Before coming to Teachers College in 2008, he was Professor of English and Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where for over three decades he served as Director of the South Coast Writing Project and the Literature Institute for Teachers.  He also served for many years as the director of the UCSB Composition Program and program head of the teacher-education program in English. He has been honored with awards by his university and by national professional associations for his teaching, for his research, and for his contributions to the profession of English.. He has also served as a member of the Assessment Development Panel for National Certification in English for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, as a Senior Advisor to the California Test Development Committee for statewide assessments in reading and writing, and as a member of the English Academic Advisory Committee to the College Board. He also directs the National Literature Project Network and served for twenty years as a member of the National Writing Project Advisory Board and Task Force. He is a former President of the National Council of Teachers of English, serving as a member of the presidential team from 1995-2000. Dr. Blau has published widely in the areas of seventeenth century literature, composition theory, professional development for teachers, and the teaching of composition and literature. He has also written and edited textbooks in composition and literature for students in middle school, high school, and college classrooms. His most recent book for teachers and scholars, The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers (Heinemann, 2003), was named by the Conference on English Education as the winner of the 2004 Richard Meade Award for outstanding research in English education.

A&HE 4051: Critical Approaches to Literature

Literary selections are examined through various critical frameworks emphasizing the way texts are constructed and how readers negotiate meaning with texts. Special fee required.

A&HE 5514: Literature and Literary Study

This course is an advanced seminar in literature and in critical theory as it relates to the reading, writing, and teaching of literature. May include an intensive study of a particular literary text, author, genre, or period. Special fee required.