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LAE 6389.001 Practice Teaching Literature

Class 1: Choosing Texts

Class Objectives:

    Distribute/choose sample Anthologies
    Introduce Syllabus assignment
    General Education Overview
    Introduction to Literature, Poetry, Fiction, Drama, and Short Story
    In-class reading assignment - introductions

In-class Reading Assignment:

Essay by Professor X "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" Atlantic June 2008, and "Against Readings" by Mark Edmundson, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2009

    Notes and Discussion Questions:

    Discussion Excercise: Why teach literature?

Divide the class into two groups. One group will read the Professor X article and one group will read the Edmundson article. Give the class a twenty-minute break to read, and set a time for the class to reconvene, ready for discussion.

Consider: These recent essays appeared in high profile periodicals, and they represent a growing sense of discomfort with pedagogies in the English classroom.

Part one -- 15 minutes
Have a spokesperson or two for each group explain the article to the other group. Be as clear and concise as possible. Accept additions and corrections from other members of the group.

Part two -- remainder of class time
Addressing both essays, answer the questions:
How does each articulate the "problem" with higher education and the teaching of English in particular?
What strategies do they suggest?
What do you think of these solutions?
Do the essays address the same or different problems? Are they related at all?
How do these essays affect what you want to get out of a teaching practicum?

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