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LAE 6389 Practice Teaching Literature

Class 6: Teaching Methods, cont.

Reading Assignment:

    Showalter chapter 8
    McKeachie, chaps. 15-18
    Post #5

Class Objectives:

    Discuss Active Learning, Writing assignments, problem-based learning, and technology.
    Student Presentations: Teaching Resource: Katherine McGee
    Student Presentations: Syllabus Check: Alaina Tackit
    Assignment: Statement of Innovative Teaching Methods

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

    Active learning and discussion

    Statement of Innovative Teaching Methods

    As another piece in your portfolio, the statement of innovative teaching methods is a document that focuses on HOW you teach. It is sometimes difficult to put into words what you are trying to do in the classroom, and it certainly difficult to abstract that process into a generic statement. Nonetheless, the benefits of doing so are that it forces you to see your teaching in an objective way -- looking from outside in. As you consider what your innovative methods are (and the stress need not be on innovative) also consider what this method achieves in the classroom. For example, rather than say "I teach through active discussion," add a statement that attaches a learning outcome to the method. For example, "By using active discussion methods in the classroom, I encourage students to practice the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation." You can even be more spectific than that.

    You can, of course, cover several methods of teaching in this statement. If your use of technology is part of the innovative method, than you can include it here. If not, you may want to discuss your use of technology in a separate document.

    In class: mix it up.
    Select a different group of three to four students and share your statement of innovative methods. Comment on some of the following questions:

    How is the student going to experience the literature in this classroom? How many ways?

    What value will the experience of this teaching method have for the student?

    What ideas can you add to use this method in new and exciting ways?

    Will these methods be adequate for all the types of literature to be covered?

    Will these methods be adequate for all the types of learners in the classroom?

    What methods will be used for developing writing? Developing reading? Developing thinking? Developing curiosity? Developing ethical perspectives?

    Websites to visit and discuss:

    Evaluating Web Sites hosted by the Cornell University 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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