A Narrative Bio

Jerome C. Harste, better known as “Jerry” or just plain
“Harste” to hundreds of children and teachers, is a children’s book author
(e.g., It Didn’t Frighten Me!, My Icky Picky Sister) as well
as an author of numerous professional books and other publications (e.g.,
Beyond Reading and Writing: Curriculum, Inquiry & Multiple Ways of Knowing,
Language Stories & Literacy Lessons, Creating Classrooms for Authors and
Inquirers, Whole Language: Inquiring Voices Want to Know, New Policy
Guidelines for Reading
, etc). In addition he has developed and hosted
several videotape series which are available through Heinemann Publishing (The
Authoring Cycle, Visions of Literacy

Dr. Harste’s areas of expertise are socio-psycholinguistics,
social semiotics, reading comprehension, reading teacher education, early
literacy, and more recently, critical literacy. Professor Harste teaches
both undergraduate and graduate courses in children’s literature and in
reading and the language arts methods (see Course Syllabi). Within the past
several years he has offered doctoral seminars on such topics as “Critical
Literacy,” “Multiple Ways-of-Knowing” and “Theoretical Models and Processes
of Reading” (see Course Syllabi). For the past several summers, Dr. Harste
has prepared teachers to run professional study groups in their districts as
part of The Reading Initiative, an NCTE sponsored multi-year professional
development effort offered on IU Bloomington’s campus (for more information
go to NCTE.org).

Along with Dr. Carolyn Burke and Dr. Virginia Woodward, Dr.
Harste made his name in Language Education through studies of early
literacy. Their ten-year study of 3, 4, 5, and 6 year-olds learning to read
and write broke pioneering ground and won them the David H. Russell Research
Award for outstanding contributions to the teaching of English from the
National Council of Teachers of English (Harste, Woodward, & Burke, 1984).

Dr. Harste holds the distinction of being named the first
Martha Lea & Bill Armstrong Chair in Teacher Education within the School of
Education at Indiana University. As early as 1976, Dr. Harste argued that
the teaching and learning of reading was theoretically based (Harste &
Burke, 1977-78). Since that time Dr. Harste and his colleagues have studied
what reading and writing strategies students are likely to exhibit when
coming from rooms where teachers hold alternate theoretical beliefs about
language and language learning – what they call a skills, a phonics, or a
whole language model of reading (DeFord & Harste, 1983). Their efforts to
continue to theorize whole language led to an advocacy for holistic and
inquiry-based education (Harste, Short, w/ Burke, 1988; Short, Harste, w/
Burke, 1996; Harste, 1990). In 1990. Dr. Harste and Dr. Christine Leland,
together with a group of teachers from Indianapolis, created a new multiage,
public, K-8, inner-city school featuring an inquiry-based, critical
literacy, and a multiple ways of knowing curriculum. Currently the Center
for Inquiry serves as a professional development site for IUPUI’s teacher
education program. What makes this program unique is that the entire 2-year
program is completed on site at the school and that the program is focused
on the preparation of urban elementary and middle school teachers (Harste,
Leland, Schmidt & Vasquez, work in process).

Currently Dr. Harste is back in Bloomington teaching
doctoral seminars and undergraduate and master degree courses in children’s
literature. The Indiana Study Group, of which he is a part, is responsible
for reviewing all of the children’s books that teachers might use to
highlight critical conversations over important social issues in their
classroom (see Recent Publications). At present he and members of the
Indiana Study Group are attempting to use James Gee’s discourse analysis
procedures to unpack the cultural models and ideological frameworks which
adults and children bring to literature discussions when discussing such
texts. In somewhat related work, Dr. Harste, along with several graduate
students. presented papers at the annual meeting of the National Reading
Conference analyzing the cultural models that adults brought to the learning
of first-person shooter games (Harste, Argioul, Scanner, Enyeart, Lehman, &
Conway, work in progress).

Dr. Harste has always been actively involved in professional
organizations. As President of the National Council of Teachers of English
(1999-2000) he advocated for a diversity and difference model of education
(see Recent Publications). Over the years he has chaired the Diversity Task
Force within the National Council of Teachers of English, been Co-Chair of
NCTE’s Joint Task Force with the International Reading Association on
Critical Literacy, chaired NCTE’s Commission on Reading, IRA’s
Sociolinguistic-Psycholinguistic Interest Group, and been on the Board of
Directors of the International Reading Association. He also is Past
President to several literacy organizations including the Whole Language
Umbrella, the National Reading Conference, and the National Conference on
Research in Language and Literacy (formerly NRCE). Currently he is the
Building Representative for Indiana University within the Bloomington Area
Reading Council, Treasurer for the Center for the Expansion of Language and
Thinking, and a founding member of the Bloomington TAWL.