Laura Rychly

Laura Rychly (Ed.D., Georgia Southern University in Curriculum Studies) is an Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. Her research interests revolve around ways to improve life in classrooms for teachers and students. This has taken the form of theorizing about teacher and learner agency, accountability to language, and improvisational theater in middle schools. A former middle school language arts teacher, she is especially committed to studying and sharing ways young adolescents interpret their schooling experiences and what they internalize as a result of the interactions they share with peers and adults in these contexts.

Books by Laura Rychly:

What Do We Mean by That?
Interrogating Familiar Expressions in Education
Edited by Laura Rychly

What Do We Mean by That?: Interrogating Familiar Expressions in Education is a collection of essays that opens a space for all educational workers—teachers, teacher educators, administrators, politicians, and others—to unpack commonly used educational phrases and ideas.

The idea is to carefully examine what we say to one another when we talk about schools, curriculum, students, and other educational problems or issues—when we say things like “We have to meet students where they are,” and “All children can learn,” or “What does the data say?” What Do We Mean by That? challenges and clarifies such phrases and the how, and why, that they shape educational policies and practices.

The influential curricular theorist Dwayne Huebner charged us to always be aware of our “man-made tools,” such as language, and said that since “all educators attempt to shape the world; theorists should call attention to the tools used for the shaping in order that the world being shaped can be more beautiful and just.”

Language is a tool in educational practice in myriad ways: between administrators and teachers, teachers and students, teachers and parents, and students and students, as examples. A scripted curriculum is a tool intended to provide fixed language to teachers. It is normal for phrases to make their way into our everyday practices and get lodged there. But we need opportunities to interrupt ourselves and study our language tools to ensure they help create beauty and justice.

This collection of thoughtful essays seeks to be this interruption. It is an invaluable tool for improving the educational experience of students and schools.

Perfect for courses such as: Foundations of Education; Curriculum Studies; Diversity in Education; Educational Rhetoric and Policy

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