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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:

"A Test You Need to Fail": A Teacher's Open Letter to Her 8th Grade Students, by Ruth Ann Dandrea

or Scott Jaschik's review of Academically Adrift by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa in Inside Higher Ed

Notes and Discussion Questions:

Discussion Excercise: What are we getting ourselves into?

Divide the class into two groups. One group will read the Dandrea letter and one group will read the Jaschik review. Give the class a fifteen-minute break to read, and set a time for the class to reconvene, ready for discussion.

Consider: Both documents address the educational conditions our students face or have faced and we need to be prepared for this.

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:

  • What do these essays tell us about our students?
  • How does each articulate the "problem" with education and the teaching of English in particular?
  • 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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