CM January 26, 
1996. Vol. 2, Number 15

image A Stone in My Shoe:
Teaching Literacy in Times of Change.

Lorri Neilsen.
Winnipeg: Peguis Publishers, 1994. 145pp, paper, $12.00.
ISBN 1-895411-73-4.

Subject Heading:
Reading (Elementary).

Review by Joanne Peters.

 A Stone in My Shoe is a series of linked personal essays charting personal and professional change in the life of a teacher. A former teacher of art, drama, and English, Lorri Neilsen is now a writer and researcher at Mount St. Vincent University. But she is still firmly grounded in the classroom and this work melds her current academic interests in gender and research with past experience.

A Stone in My Shoe is a personal reflection on her work in education, starting as a teacher armed with a daybook, a plan, goals, and objectives, and an overwhelming sense of guilt when classroom experience did not go according to plan. But, with time, she comes to trust personal response, to build upon personal experience, dares to be flexible, and develops the strength to find her voice in challenging the many assumptions that underpin and drive public policy in education. In short, she develops what she calls "the wisdom of practice."

The conversational style of Neilsen's book makes it easy to read, although the pedagogical and philosophical issues with which she wrestles are anything but simple. The title is recommended for professional collections, and will be a useful springboard for personal reflection on teacher professional development. Although the audience for works of this type is limited, it will resonate for those who are grappling with the critical issues challenging classroom teachers of language arts today.


Joanne Peters is Teacher-Librarian at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

Go back to CM Welcome page
Go back to Table of Contents for this Issue