Dodd, Anne Wescott 1940–

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Dodd, Anne Wescott 1940–

(Anne W. Dodd)

PERSONAL:

Born April 24, 1940, in Bangor, ME; daughter of Archie Hanson and Felicia Wescott; married James H. Dodd, February 26, 1965; stepchildren: Vickie Dodd Gehm, Suzan Dodd Heros. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Attended Pennsylvania State University, 1957-58; University of Maine at Orono, B.A., 1961; California State University, Los Angeles, M.A., 1967; University of Maine, Ed.D., 1994.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Brunswick, ME. Office—Department of Education, Bates College, 4 Andrews Rd., Lewiston, ME 04240. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

High school teacher of English in Hallowell, ME, 1961-62; junior high school teacher of English, French, and social studies in Pasadena, CA, 1962-67, and Montebello, CA, 1967-68; elementary school supervisor in Machias, ME, 1968-69; high school curriculum coordinator and teacher of English in Machias, 1969-71; high school teacher of English and department head in Wiscasset, ME, 1971-72; Brunswick High School, Brunswick, ME, English teacher, 1972-77, assistant principal, 1977-81; Freeport Middle School, Freeport, ME, principal, 1981-83; Bates College, Lewiston, ME, faculty member, 1984—, senior lecturer in education, 2002—, department chair, 1997-2002. Colby College, visiting lecturer, 1986-88; University of Maine at Augusta, adjunct professor, 1983-90.

MEMBER:

National Council of Teachers of English, American Educational Research Association, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Maine Council of English Language Arts (past president), Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Phi Kappa Phi.

WRITINGS:

Write Now!, Globe Book Co. (Paramus, NJ), 1973.

Practical Strategies for Taming the Paper and People Problems in Teaching, C.C. Thomas (Springfield, IL), 1987.

Beachcombing and Beachcrafting, edited by Julius M. Wilensky, photographs by Nancy Lemay, line drawings by Don Johnson, Wescott Cove Publishing (Stamford, CT), 1989.

A Handbook for Substitute Teachers, C.C. Thomas (Springfield, IL), 1989.

Footprints and Shadows, illustrated by Henri Sorenson, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1992.

A Parent's Guide to Innovative Education: Working with Teachers, Schools, and Your Children for Real Learning, Noble Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

(With Jean L. Konzal) Making Our High Schools Better: How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The Story of the Sea Glass (juvenile), illustrated by Mary Beth Owens, Down East Books (Camden, ME), 1999.

(With Jean L. Konzal) How Communities Build Stronger Schools: Stories, Strategies, and Promising Practices for Educating Every Child, Palgrave (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor of articles, poetry, and reviews to education journals and other magazines, including English Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Anne Wescott Dodd's Footprints and Shadows is a bedtime storybook in verse. It evokes the transitory nature of both shadows and footprints. It describes how footprints appear and disappear through the flow of seasons—for example, footprint tracks in snow as they slowly melt away—and how morning shadows shorten into the midday, grow gradually longer and longer as the afternoon progresses into sundown, then turn to dancing silhouettes as dusk and evening come. The book is written in poetically soporific rhythms designed to help lull children gently off to sleep. Sorenson's delicate, pastoral illustrations provide tranquil accompaniment to Dodd's text.

The Story of the Sea Glass begins on a crowded city beach, with Nicole and her grandmother, Nana. The older woman is sharing her memories with the young girl. After hearing her stories, Nicole urges Nana to take her to visit the old, seaside house on the island where her grandmother lived as a child. In a flash-forward shift in time—unusual for a picture-story book—the tale resumes with the pair passing Nana's old house as they stroll down to the island beach and wander along the shoreline, gathering pieces of sea glass. Sea glass are bits of broken colored glass, once jagged, but slowly weathered by exposure to seawater and sand, and rounded by the perpetual rhythms of tidal tumbling, shaping and smoothing their surfaces. Their lucky find of a rare piece of red sea glass triggers a flashback by Nana to the 1940s and leads to her admission of having accidentally broken an heirloom red-glass vase, then throwing the shattered shards into the ocean to hide the evidence. Her remembrance, of course, suggests this stray find may once have been a part of the treasured vase. The pair's journey ends with a plan to make sun catchers together from the bits of sea glass they discovered, a way in which to memorialize "this special place and time together." The book concludes with a discussion of sea glass and instructions for how readers can make their own sea glass sun catchers.

The Story of the Sea Glass elicited a mixed review from a Publishers Weekly critic, who deemed the story "needlessly complicated" but found the book "nonetheless chock-full of visual pleasures." Carolyn Phelan, writing in Booklist, described it as "a tender picture book for those in love with the ocean, sea glass, and idyllic stories."

In Making Our High Schools Better: How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together, Dodd and Jean L. Konzal base their book on case studies of two small-town high schools in New England. The authors' goal is to help promote an enhanced relationship between parents and teachers, providing information to assist them both in understanding the different perspectives through which they view the education process. They contend that not only do teenagers frequently feel alienated from their high schools, but their parents often feel like outsiders as well. While admitting that even teachers' viewpoints vary as to how and what students should learn, the authors try to focus upon the parents' stance regarding schooling, and they strive to raise the question: Is there some workable middle ground? While most parents expect education to meet their own children's specific needs, teachers must provide a curriculum that addresses the perceived needs of their entire classrooms. Teachers generally view themselves as the experts on learning and teaching, and they frequently consider parents as critics and potential problems, hence, attempt to keep them at a safe distance from the education process. The authors provide tools to help bridge these differences, discussing in detail four programs used in schools in varying communities outside New England that have been successful in engaging parents in the secondary-school education process. They also provide an extensive list of resources and recommendations, including Internet sites, printed material, and organizations that may assist in reaching well-informed solutions to the problem.

Though the book is based upon two independent doctoral dissertations, the manner in which Dodd and Konzal discuss these issues has been described as folksy and informal, rather than clinical, increasing the accessibility of the text. Great detail is given to parental attitudes uncovered in the course of the case studies, involving such key issues as whether achievement tests should be used to evaluate students, or whether they should be grouped by skill level and graded using report cards.

In a Library Journal review of Making Our High Schools Better, Samuel T. Huang wrote, "This non-dogmatic book about a complex social reality is written for concerned parents, educators and community members who are committed to social improvement." G.E. Hein, writing in Choice, noted that the book "covers a subject for which little previous literature exists" and "recommended [it] for general readers, advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and practitioners."

Dodd once told CA: "Travel is very important to me, being an escape as well as an education. Reading books about places is not the same as being there. No photograph or description can capture the immensity of the temple at Karnak or the sand that is the air one breathes in the Valley of the Kings. The Russian character must be affected by the climate: One April I was colder there than I ever thought possible and wondered how anyone could tolerate a winter in Moscow. Visiting most countries, especially the former Soviet Union, has made me appreciate the United States even more.

"The future of American public education is of great concern to me now. Drastic changes must come if we are to cope with tight budgets, declining enrollments, standards and standardized testing, teacher and administrator ‘burnout,’ and the problems of society as a whole. Creative thinking and research are needed to make our schools effective in teaching students to live in the chaotic present and in the future, the shape of which we cannot imagine. If we are truly committed to the ideal of democracy, then we must find ways to ensure that all students have equal opportunities and resources to learn." Recently she added: "The current No Child Left Behind legislation was intended to do that, but in reality it is creating more problems for schools and driving good teachers to leave."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of The Story of the Sea Glass, p. 1028.

Choice, January, 2000, review of Making Our High Schools Better: How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together, p. 986.

Harvard Educational Review, fall, 2000, Alexandra Callen, review of Making Our High Schools Better, p. 415.

Library Journal, April 15, 1999, Samuel T. Huang, review of Making Our High Schools Better, p. 114; October 15, 2002, Will Hepfer, review of How Communities Build Stronger Schools: Stories, Strategies, and Promising Practices for Educating Every Child, p. 82.

Publishers Weekly, December 20, 1999, review of The Story of the Sea Glass, p. 79.

Teachers College Record, September, 2003, review of How Communities Build Stronger Schools, p. 1354.