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LAE 6389 Practice Teaching Literature

Class 10: Problems and Pitfalls

Reading Assignment:

    Showalter, chaps. 9-10
    McKeachie, chaps. 12-14
    Student Presentation: Literature Review: Richard Ellman -- Hunter, J. Paul. "The Future of the Past: Teaching Older Texts in a Postmodern World." South Atlantic Review 59.2 (1994): 1-10
    and Taylor Mitchell: TBA
    Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Joe G., Jessica
    Post #6 Group A

Class Objectives:

Four student presentations
Discussion of Teaching difficult subjects, in difficult times

Notes and Discussion Questions:

Showalter, Teaching Dangerous Subjects (Chapter 9)

Evaluate the guidelines from The National Mental Health Organization for warning signs, advice to friends, and information for help on issues related to suicide or suicidal students. How do these compare with USF policies and practices?

What sorts of experiences with "dangerous subjects" have you had and how have they played out in the classroom? Do Showalter's suggestions seem helpful? Can we do better in providing suggestions for handling dangerous subjects in the classroom?

Teaching Literature in Dark Times (Chapter 10)

Showalter identifies two types of crisis you will meet as a professor, the personal or private crisis of your own and the public or shared crisis. Evaluate some of the professors' responses to crisis in this section. What is your reaction to these stories?

How might teaching literature be different from other disciplines in times of crisis? What opportunities might it offer? What limitations or disappointments might it yield?

McKeachie, chaps. 12-14

Review the research on motivational theories in chapter 12. How might some of these apply to the literature classroom? For example, what choices for students might you integrate into your course? How would you foster intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation? Value for knowledge and expectations for success? Mastery rather than performance? How might you help students to make attributions based on effort? How could you incorporate (or would you incorporate) social goals in your class?

Review the 9 recommendations for increasing student motivation. Which ones would work well for literature? Which ones would not? Why?

At USF student diversity is fairly high. After reading chapter 13 on Teaching culturally diverse students, what cultural conflicts or confusions might you expect to encounter as a teacher? How might your own cultural identity affect the dynamic of the classroom? What might help?

What, if anything, did you learn about culturally diverse populations in this chapter and how might it be useful to you?

Are there any ethnic or "diverse" populations left out of this particular discussion? What can you add?

What is the very first thing every teacher should consider when encountering a problem in the classroom?

How would you describe McKeachie's philosophy or theory in handling classroom management problems? What is the common ground in his solutions/recommendations? Evaluate.


Active learning and discussion


For our peer review session today, I'd like to look back and raise questions about what we have not discussed sufficiently. You can be prepared by bringing in the piece(s) of the portfolio to which you want to draw attention. (E.g., we did not discuss Statement of Teaching Method as a class.)

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