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LAE 6389.001 Practice Teaching Literature

Class 6: Teaching Methods, cont.

Reading Assignment:

    Showalter chapter 8
    McKeachie, chaps. 15-18
    Post #3 Group B

Class Objectives:

    Discuss Active Learning, Writing assignments, problem-based learning, and technology.
    Student Presentations: Literature Review
    Student Presentations: Syllabus Check
    Assignment: List of supplemental readings for course

Notes and Discussion Questions:

Chapter 15 - High and Low Stakes writing, by Peter Elbow and Mary Dean Sorcinelli

What other ideas can you think of for using low stakes writing in literature classrooms? What other ideas can you think of for using high stakes writing in literature classrooms?

Evaluate the recommendations for preventing plagiarism on p. 210. What do you think causes a student to plagiarize?

Chapter 16 Active Learning -- Cooperation, Collaboration, and Peer Learning

What are some of the more important aspects of group work as described by McKeachie? (I.e. why would you do it? what would you be doing? how would you do it?)

What concerns does this approach to teaching literature raise?

Evaluate the methods described for potential use in the literature classroom:

  • Peer tutoring
  • Learning cell
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Syndicate
  • Jig saw

    Chapter 17 Problem Based Learning

    How might you employ a case study method or problem-based-learning in a literature classroom? Consider, for example, library or research problems.

    Chapter 18 Technology and Teaching

    How many of you use technology in the classroom? What has your experience taught you about the effectiveness of the methods used?

    How might the descriptions in this chapter improve or help your use of technology in the classroom?

    Does the chapter create an interest in technological teaching methods that you might want to try?

    Showalter: Teaching Teachers (Chapter 8)

    In many ways, this chapter is about our class, and we might use it to reflect on what we are doing here and what we can do with the rest of the semester. What ideas does this chapter suggest for your training as a literature teacher?

    Evaluate the three developmental stages of new teachers mentioned on p. 113. How do these categories sound to you? Are they helpful for understanding your own experience?

    Choose any one of the case studies from Showalter's seminar (pp. 117-124) and analyze it. Try to answer the questions she asks at the end of that subsection.


    Active learning and discussion

    Supplemental reading lists To continue to develop your ideas on course themes and reading, prepare a list of supplemental texts that a) can help you teach the course better or b) you can have students read on their own in addition to the literature. Bring your list in with the theme so that when you share this with a group, they have a context for understanding the list.

    As you review the supplemental reading lists, consider these questions:
    What level is the reading directed to?

    How will the instructor incorporate the reading in class (lecture? online materials? assignment?)

    Is the reading helpful for understanding the literature of the class?

    Does the reading take away from the direction or theme of the class?

    What other readings might you suggest?

    Websites to visit and discuss:

    Criteria for Web Site Evaluation hosted by the University of Michigan Undergraduate Library

    Resources on Academic Integrity at the University of Michigan library

    Visible Knowledge Project: a site on questioning the role of technology in teaching


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