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Angela M. Kohnen describes her career path as somewhat unconventional. After beginning her undergraduate years as an engineering major, she graduated with a degree in English and American Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and spent the next few years working in restaurants and as a freelance copywriter for website developers and advertising agencies. These varied experiences helped her learn to see the world from a variety of perspectives and were excellent training for a future in education. Eventually she went back to college to earn a teaching credential and master’s degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). She taught secondary Language Arts in the St. Louis area before returning to UMSL to pursue her PhD in Education, under the direction of Wendy Saul. Currently she works as an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Florida.
She has always considered herself a generalist, someone whose curiosity can be piqued by nearly anything, and loves pursuing questions that cross curricular and disciplinary silos. Currently she is working with an interdisciplinary group of middle school teachers to enact a generalist curriculum embedded in the core content areas. She is inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of these eighth graders. Outside of work, she spends time with her husband and their two daughters, both generalists-in-training.
What can we teach kids today that will have utility ten or fifteen years from now? Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul propose an approach to information literacy that goes beyond the teaching of discreet, easily outdated skills. Instead they use activity to help students build identities as curious individuals empowered to ask their own questions and able to navigate their information-filled world in pursuit of credible answers.
A generalist is curious, open-minded, skeptical, and persistent in their quest for information. Thinking Like a Generalist: Skills for Navigating a Complex Worlddemonstrates what it means to take a generalist stance in instruction and provides a set of teaching tools to be able to pass those skills to students—skills that will transfer beyond the walls of the classroom.
Inside you’ll find the following:
A thorough introduction to what it means to be a “generalist”, and how to develop the practices and tools that help generalists navigate the world we live in
A focus on the teacher becoming a generalist and tips for modeling those practices in the classroom
Detailed instructions on how to write a unit of study that emphasizes generalist literacy skills and includes an overview and examples of five different units
How to use the authors’ read-aloud-think-aloud strategy to orient students to generalist tools and practices
The ideas, strategies, and examples in Thinking Like a Generalist will give you the tools to think like a generalist and then pass that knowledge on to your students, guiding them to become inquisitive, lifelong learners and preparing them for a future that we can’t yet imagine.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion