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LAE 6389.001 Practice Teaching Literature

Class 2: Why Teach Literature?s

Reading Assignment:

Showalter, chaps. 1-2
McKeachie, chaps. 1-2
Assignment: Practical on Editions
Post #1 Groups A & B

Class Objectives:

    Exchange sample anthologies
    Select groups and literary work(s) for class
    Meet with Norton - Lunch provided
    Review parts of the syllabus
    Discuss different editions of same work
    Discuss why we teach literature

Notes and Discussion Questions:

Showalter lists seven sources of anxiety in teaching: lack of training, isolation, teaching versus research, coverage, performance, grading, student evaluations. Which of these, if any, can you relate to? Why or why not?

In her chapter discussing theories of teaching, Showalter asks the question: Why do we teach literature? A big, messy and wonderful question! Perhaps any class on teaching literature should address this at the start. Why do you [want to] teach literature?

Evaluate the objectives she lists for teaching literature on page 26.

What is your teaching persona? Think of a "telling moment" in the classroom that reveals to us (and your students) your teaching persona and be willing (please) to share this in class. What kind of teacher are you? What kind of teacher do you want to be?

Does your teaching self correspond to your teaching theory? And that means ....

After reading these introductory chapters on teaching, what areas of teaching strike you as most important for our class? Methods? Theories? Classroom management? Grading? Problems? Preparation? Housekeeping? Your teaching development? Others? Brainstorm and let's discuss the emphases we can take.

In McKeachie, please review his "philosophy" of teaching (pp. 5-6) and evaluate.

McKeachie provides an orderly "to do" list for course preparation. How does this strike you? Will this be doable? Or do parts of this seem difficult?

How helpful is his advice on preparing your syllabus?

Also note the bibliography and list of references in both works. Put an asterisk next to ones that might be worth looking at for your resource review assignment.


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