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A Response


by Randy Bomer - September 13, 2000

First of all, I want to make clear that my review was of Margaret Himley's book and not of Patricia Carini or the Prospect School. In fact, I said in the review that one of the several contributions Himley's book makes to educators is that of introducing to many the work of that institution. As a matter of fact, as I understand the work of the Prospect School, observation is an important part of teachers' assessment process, though it is definitely not a part of Himley's research methodology. The section of the book authored by Carini is the sole place where the reader is ever shown an actual child. I also stated in my review that Professor Himley provided admirable examples of teachers collaborating. I do not, however, equate a teacher talking with other professionals with a teacher teaching a student, as Himley seems to do. Himley asserts that the "deep talk" in which teachers in her study engage informs their work with students, in... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

First of all, I want to make clear that my review was of Margaret Himley's book and not of Patricia Carini or the Prospect School. In fact, I said in the review that one of the several contributions Himley's book makes to educators is that of introducing to many the work of that institution. As a matter of fact, as I understand the work of the Prospect School, observation is an important part of teachers' assessment process, though it is definitely not a part of Himley's research methodology. The section of the book authored by Carini is the sole place where the reader is ever shown an actual child.

I also stated in my review that Professor Himley provided admirable examples of teachers collaborating. I do not, however, equate a teacher talking with other professionals with a teacher teaching a student, as Himley seems to do. Himley asserts that the "deep talk" in which teachers in her study engage informs their work with students, in fact stating in her letter that this is the main point of the book. However, Shared Territory never shows how this might be so, since Himley adamantly refuses to present a classroom moment, a teacher teaching, or a child writing.

My main disagreement with Shared Territory is that Himley's research methodology stripped artifacts from the temporal, social, and personal conditions of their making, and then asserted interpretations of the writers without benefit of looking at or listening to them. I do not believe that means I see "product and process" as a binary opposition. Ironically, Margaret Himley does not force her "work" to stand on its own, but feels compelled to voice an exclamation of "No, that's not what I meant!" in response to what she sees as a misreading. Unfortunately, as a researcher, she does not give the same space to child writers.



Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 13, 2000
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10544, Date Accessed: 1/20/2022 12:29:54 PM

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