Author Biographies

Scott Sheedlo is in his 25th year of public school teaching, during which time he has taught grades 7-12 in both Language Arts and Biology. A proud Marauder, he has taught at Ovid-Elsie High School the last twenty-three years, where he currently teaches sophomore English, Technical Communication, Novels, and Creative Writing. He is also a member of his building school improvement team. Presently, he is enrolled at Bowling Green State University as a graduate student in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric online MA program. He also holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Michigan State.


The Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (5 D+) model for teacher evaluation is popular among Michigan school districts as the instrument to satisfy state law requiring districts to evaluate teachers. Veteran English Language Arts (ELA) teacher Scott Sheedlo gives a first-hand, narrative account of the questions and tensions implementation of the 5D+ model has caused for him as his district has adopted the model. Sheedlo notes this state mandate has resulted in the typical manifestations of teacher resistance, as the model is at odds with his own metrics for good teaching and includes unfamiliar, research-based practices such as formative assessment combined with differentiated instruction that force teachers to change their practice. In his struggle to accept this mandated change, Sheedlo turned to critical pragmatism to accommodate a shift in his philosophical approach to teaching. He argues for the appropriateness of pragmatism first in helping teachers through the acceptance of the changes forced by the 5D+ model and later through the uncertainties of implementation of those changes. Sheedlo uses the example of implementing formative assessment in reading instruction that would allow for differentiation to illustrate the change process and the usefulness of pragmatism in remaining positive through periods of pedagogical adjustment.

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