Blau, Sheridan (sb2908)

Sheridan Blau

Professor of Practice
Professor Emeritus, in Education & English, University of California, Santa Barbara

Office Location:

327A HMann

Office Hours:

By appointment on Zoom

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

Blau, S. (2023) “On Not Teaching College-Level Reading in Order That Students Might Learn It: Honoring Our Pedagogical Legacy in the Composition Classroom.” Deep Reding, Deep Learning (Vol.2). Ed.P. Sullivan, H.Tinberg  & S. Blau. Peter Lang Pub.

Blau, S. (2018). “The National Writing Project: The Heart & Soul of a Reform that Works.” Reform and Literacy Education: History, Effects, and Advocacy. Ed., Sarah Hochstetler. Routledge.

Blau, S. (2017). “How the Teaching of Literature in College Writing Classes Might Rescue Reading as It Never Has Before.” Deep Reading: Teaching Reading in the Writing Classroom. Ed. P. Sullivan, H. Tinberg, S. Blau. NCTE. (Winner of the 2019 Outstanding Book Award for Best Edited Collection from the Conference on College Composition, NCTE)

Blau, S. (2014) “Literary Competence and the Experience of Literature.” Style; 48; 42-47

Blau, S. (2012). “Theory for Practice: James Moffett’s Seminal Contribution to Composition.” Ed. Patricia L. Stock. Composition’s Roots in English Education.  Heinemann/Boynton-Cook. 

Blau, S. (2011). “Fostering Authentic Learning in the Literature Classroom.” Engaging American Novels. Eds. Joseph Milner and Carol Pope. NCTE.

Blau, S. (2010). “Academic Writing as Participation: Writing Your Way In.” What is College Level Writing. Ed. P. Sullivan, H. Tinberg, S. Blau. NCTE.

Blau, S. (2009). “Believing and Doubting as Hermeneutic Method: Reading and Teaching Paradise Lost.” Journal of the Assembly for Alternative Perspectives on Learning (JAEPL). Vol 15. 8-15.

Blau, S. (2006). “College Writing, Academic Literacy, and the Intellectual Community: California Dreams and Cultural Oppositions.” What is College Level Writing.  Eds. Patrick Sullivan and Howard Tinberg, NCTE.

Blau, S. (2004). “Invisible Writing: Investigating Cognitive Processes in Composition.” Literacy: Major Themes in Education. Eds. Zoe Botterill, Routledge. (Reprint of 1983 article).

Blau, S. (March, 2003). “Performative Literacy: The Habits of Mind of Highly Literate Readers.” Voices from the Middle, Vol.10 No. 3; 18-22.

Blau, S. (2003) The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers. Heinemann.

Blau, S. (2001). “Politics and the English Language Arts.” The Fate of Progressive Language Policies and Practices. Eds. C. Dudley-Marling & C. Edelsky. NCTE. (pp. 183-208).

Blau, S. (1998). "Toward the Separation of School and State." Language Arts, Vol. 75 (Feb), 32-36.

Blau, S.1994. "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.

Blau, S. (1993). "Constructing Knowledge in a Professional Community: The Writing Project as a Model for Classrooms." The Quarterly (NWP and Center for the Study of Writing).

Blau, S. (1988). "Teacher Development and the Revolution in Teaching English.” English Journal. Vol. 77.

Sheridan Blau is Professor of Practice in Arts and Humanities and the former Director of the Teachers College Program in English Education and the Teaching of English. He is also Professor of English and Education (emeritus) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he taught for nearly 40 years before his retirement in 2009. He earned his BA at Rutgers University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Brandeis University, before becoming an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan where he taught for four years before moving to UCSB. At UCSB he served for over 30 years as the director of two major professional development programs for teachers: the South Coast Writing Project and the Literature Institute for Teachers. He also served as the Director of the campus Composition Program from 1984-90, and for over twenty years as program head of the UCSB teacher-education program in English. He also served for over 20 years as a member of the Committee responsible for University of California’s statewide Analytical Writing Placement Exam. In 2006 he was honored by the UCSB Faculty Senate with a Distinguished Teaching Award. In the summer of 2012 he served as a Visiting Professor of English at the National Institute of Education, Singapore.

Beyond the university, Professor Blau served for many years as a member of the Assessment Development Panel for National Certification in English for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and as a Senior Advisor to the California Test Development Committee for statewide assessments in reading and writing. He also held appointments as a Senior Scholar of the National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning and as a member of the English Academic Advisory Committee to the College Board. For 20 years he has also directed the National Literature Project Network, and he served for over two decades as a member of the National Writing Project Advisory Board and Task Force.

Dr. Blau is also a former President of the National Council of Teachers of English (1997-98) and served as a member of the presidential team from 1995-2000. He has chaired two international conferences on the teaching of language and literacy (1996 in Heidelberg and 1998 in Bordeaux) and has conducted workshops and delivered keynote addresses and invited scholarly and professional papers at hundreds of professional conferences and institutes over the past thirty years. In 2007 he was awarded the NCTE Distinguished Service Award for service to the profession of English through professional leadership, contributions to teaching, and exemplary writing. In 2012 he was named “Rhetorician of the Year” by the Young Rhetoricians Conference in recognition of his career long contributions to the teaching of writing, to the development of teachers of writing through his leadership roles in the National Writing Project; and, through his own research and publications, to the discipline of composition as a field for teaching and research.

Research and Publications
Dr. Blau’s current research is focused on the relationship between reading and learning and the learning enabled by the reading of literature. His publication record includes 7 authored or co-edited books and 55 other publications covering the fields of seventeenth century British Literature, the teaching and learning of composition and literature, professional development for teachers, and the ethics and politics of literacy. His widely influential book, 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.

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