Imagined Worlds and Classroom Realities (2014)

A book of nine short stories set in classrooms.

  1.   A young woman sits in her first teacher-education lecture and wonders what kind of a tribe she is joining.
  2. ·       A preservice teacher clashes with his mentor teacher on a practicum, and things career out of control.
  3. ·       A teacher and students inhabit an online space with unpredictable consequences.
  4. ·       A student and her class visit the Universarium. What kind of a place is this? 
  5. ·       A boy tells his therapist a story; the therapist is undone.
  6. ·       An English teacher struggles to free herself from an oppressive discourse about the nature of teaching.
  7. ·       Two siblings support and console each other through their complex inductions into classroom lifeworlds.
  8. ·       A secondary student goes missing and police, the media and his teachers wonder why.
  9. ·       A teacher-education academic wrestles with elusive ideas in order to prepare a lecture that he hopes will make a more-than-passing impact.

Reader Reviews

[Shann] gives us a collection of gorgeous, complex stories about teaching and learning that serve as catalysts for our own reflection. They remind us that every best practice must live within an uncommon reality, that every move we make professionally has unintended consequences, and that the more we profess to know, the less likely we are to grow….

I’m a voracious reader, and my work inspires me to consume dozens of education blog posts, a small pile of journal articles, and a book or two about research-based practices every month. Some of these pieces are heady while others are quickly digested. Regardless of complexity though, these texts are typically expository. Steve’s reliance on story is atypical, and the implications for professional learning are profound.

His characters are as multifaceted as the challenges they face, and the use of story enables Steve to illuminate this reality without imposing his own claims directly. This is more than just refreshing—it’s transformative.

Angela Stockman (the full review can be read here:


I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories, which bring to life the challenges and rewards of teacher training and early classroom experience. Steve Shann brings to his writing a refreshing combination of theory, keen observation and understanding of human nature.

Stephen Hall, Amazon review


'Imagined Worlds and Classroom Realities' provides thoughtful and nuanced stories that stimulate conversations about teaching and learning in a way that is real - connected to the space that educators (teachers) and students understand and know. It doesn't provide codified ways of managing a classroom, rather it provides a space for thinking about,and understanding, your own convictions and feelings about teaching.

Catherine Jean-Krista (Amazon review)