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May 20, 2013

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Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
Phone: 813-974-9496

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LAE 6389 Practice Teaching Literature

Summer 2013
Time: Tue/Thurs
12:30-4:00 pm
Room: CPR 257

  • Assignments
  • Related Sites
  • Teaching IDEAS from 2004
  • Annotated Bibliography from LAE 6389 2004,2006-2012

      Course Description

      This course is designed to introduce students to practical and theoretical concerns in teaching literature. We will learn to construct a syllabus, set teaching objectives, organize a course; we will review theories on teaching methods (focusing on literature workshop), evaluation and assessment, as well as ways to handle problems and pitfalls. This course prepares students to teach in the General Education Curriculum, and it will also address particular issues associated with teaching introduction to literature, poetry, fiction, drama, and short story. The discussions will be based upon related reading assignments, practical activities, student reports and weekly writings. The class will involve some practice teaching. Students will be responsible for several presentations throughout the term and the students will be expected to turn in a on-line portfolio through Canvas. This is intended for PhD students in the Department of English; other students interested should check with the instructor before enrolling.

    Required Materials

    Mary Rose O'Reilly, Radical Presence: Teaching as Contemplative Practice (Boyton Cook, 1998)

    Sheridan D. Blau, The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and their Readers (Heinneman, 2003)

    Rebekah Nathan, My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student (Cornell, 2005)

    Robert Scholes, The Crafty Reader (Yale UP 2001) [Note: this is not available at the bookstore. There are many used hardcovers available on and there are a couple of electronic versions.]

    Elaine Showalter, Teaching Literature (Blackwell, 2003)

    Selected readings from the teaching journals such as Pedagogy, available through Project Muse or course documents


    Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers 13th edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2010)

    NB: if you can purchase or acquire these texts by less expensive means, please do so. Many used copies are sold via the internet; there are also some e-book versions available. You can also check these out of the library.

    Electronic Media

    For a general introduction to electronic formats for teaching/learning, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.

    Electronic Discussion We will be using the USF Canvas lms and the discussion board I have created for this class: LAE6389.001U13. You can gain access to it through My USF. You are automatically registered by virtue of being registered for this course.

    My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.

    Other important websites are listed following the assignments.


    Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term

    May 14 Class 1: Introductions, syllabus review, anthologies

      Guest: Dr. Marty Gould, Undergraduate Director of English

      General Education Overview

    May 16 Class 2: Contemplative Pedagogy; training teachers; sign-ups

      Showalter, ch 8
      Eble, chapter 16 The Craft of Teaching in course docs. Mary Rose O'Reilly, Radical Presence

      Due: Practical on Editions
      Post #1

    May 21 Class 3: Getting Started, class descriptions, course objectives, leading discussion

      Rebekah Nathan, My Freshman Year
      Marshall Gregory, "Do We Teach Disciplines or Do We Teach Students? What Difference Does It Make?" in Profession 2008: 117-129.
      Showalter, chapters 1-7

      Guest Panel: What I Wanted to Know Before I Started Teaching Poetry (or Fiction, Drama...)

      Due: draft course description, objectives
      Post #2

    May 23 Class 4: Teaching Methods: Literature Workshop

      Blau, chapters 1-5
      Conduct literature workshops

      Due: Post #3

    May 28 Class 5: Work Day

      Online syllabus workshop

      Due: Post #4

    May 30 Class 6: Teaching Methods: Active learning Strategies

      Guest Teacher: Paul Corrigan

      Scholes, Introduction, Reading Poetry, Sacred Reading and Conclusion (pp. xi-75, 212-243) and a chapter of your choice on a genre that interests you
      McKeachie, chapters 4,5, and 6, in course docs

      Due: Mid-term eval survey; sample assignment
      Post #5

    Jun 4 Class 7: Work Day

      Online syllabus workshop

      Due: Post #6

    June 6 Class 8: Literature Workshop: Writing Assignments

      Blau, chapters 6-10;

      Due: Student Paper from internet cheat site
      Post #7

    Jun 11 Class 9: Work Day

      Online syllabus workshop

      Due: Post #8

    Jun 13 Class 10: Eval and assessment: matching objectives and outcomes

      McKeachie, chaps. 7-11
      Sherry Linkon, "The Reader's Apprentice" in course docs
      See FKL website.

      Due: Group evaluation of purchased student paper; individual rubric
      Post #9

    June 18 Class 11: Practice Teaching

      Due: In class teaching
      Post #10

    June 20 Class 12: Problems and Pitfalls

      Showalter, chaps. 9-10
      McKeachie, chaps. 11-13

      Due: Tech Bibliographies / presentations; teaching philosophy

    Deadline for posting portfolio -- Tuesday July 12

    ** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

    ** In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

    Graded Assignments

      Attendance/Participation in class assignments and discussion - 25%

      Weekly Posts (10) - 15%

      Weekly Tweets on blog reading - 10%

      Technology Bibliography - 15%

      Teaching Presentation - 10%

      Online Portfolio - 25%

    Description of graded assignments

      Attendance and Participation

      Students are expected to be present for the entire class, every class and to participate in group activities, homework assignments, discussion and evaluation of peers. We will be exploring a variety of teaching and learning techniques, including contemplative pedagogy, and it is important that all students enter into this with open minds and a willingness to try. Success in the class is dependent upon this. If students anticipate missing a class, they should prepare and submit work in advance of the class. Diligence in the remaining classes may offset the failure in attendance.

      Weekly Writings - Class Discussion Board

      All members are required to participate in the electronic discussion board maintained through Canvas. Writing assignments may vary from week to week, depending on the topic and activity for each class. In general, each student will be expected to write a 200-300 word, original document in response to the readings or topics for the week. These are due to be posted by 8 am on the day of class. Students are expected to engage in a class conversation rather than to submit isolated essays; therefore it is also expected that students read each of the posts before class.

      Posts are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 for effort, not rightness or wrongness. This class is organized around the themes of engagement, self-reflection and the use of technology in teaching, and these weekly writings on the lms offer the opportunity for introspection and discussion through the digital medium. If I do not respond to your post, then you can assume it received full credit. Please devote some thought to these posts, because they may constitute a large part of our discussion material.

      ** In case of server malfunction, bring a hardcopy of your post to my office by noon before class.

      The Weekly Tweet(s)

      As Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Strommel explain in their essay in Hybrid Pedagogy, authentic class discussion can take place online outside of a traditional LMS. Even though we will be using the Canvas discussion thread for our weekly posts, and the Ether Pad for our Mind the Gap discussions, I want to introduce Twitter as another forum for our interactions about teaching. Morris and Strommel write: "Twitter can be used both synchronously (in hashtag chats) and asynchronously to engage learners, instructors, and others outside the classroom. It can be used creatively to analyze literature, build community, and even do collaborative work. Twitter encourages sharing of links and dynamic exchanges of ideas. While some might argue that the 140-character limit doesn't allow for deep inquiry, we disagree. Twitter, rather, becomes a tool for a collective inquiry, creating depth through the metonymic relationship between tweets and between tweets and what they link to."

      For our class, we will use the hashtag #teachinglit in our tweets so that we can follow the discussion throughout the term. I am choosing a hashtag that is deliberately topical so that other folks interested in Teaching Literature might follow us and add to our conversation. Your assignment is to send our class a link to a blog or online article related to teaching literature at least once a week. Below in the syllabus I have listed a few blogs on teaching and higher education that I follow and encourage you to start there. We can build a bibliography of teaching blogs through our tweets. You can further curate the discussion by following #teachinglit either in the Discover section of Twitter or by using Tweetdeck to manage your information flow. As you become more skillful with Twitter, you can also engage in conversations about teaching by referencing the blogs or perhaps even starting and tweeting your own. Minimum requirements will be one blog citation tweeted with the class hashtag per week. Full credit will involve reading and replying or interacting with each other through the forum. The course is six weeks long, which means you need six weekly tweets and some follow up. Explore! Read! Play! Engage! [If you are new to Twitter, visit the website and create an account: Then follow me @laura_runge and I'll return the favor!]

      Technology Bibliography

      In keeping with our course theme of "Engagement, Reflection and Technology," students will prepare a 15 item annotated bibliography of technology tools for use in the literature classroom. You can explore the different tools available through Canvas or seek open-source software for use in the classroom. Anything from a YouTube Video for class instruction to a collaborative writing space online is game on this assignment. In fact, video games might also be appropriate! Throughout the semester, keep track of references to different teaching tools (Twitter and the online blogs listed below are a good source of information) and imagine creative ways to use them to teach and learn in the literature classroom. See, for example, this infographic by Getting Smart on using Pinterest in your classroom.

      Your bibliography should include titles of specific works or tools that you will use and a description of how you will use it (as a teaching module, as a student assignment, as an in-class activity, etc.). To get you started, visit the Concordance of Tools on Hybrid Pedagogy. You may want to try one of these tools in your practice teaching on the second to last class. On the last day of class, we will share our findings and plans. You will be expected to present your bibliography and perhaps demonstrate one tool. You can work on this project during our three work days; I encourage you to explore and play and be creative. The final assignment should be a formal writing, properly documented and formatted according to MLA standards. We can discuss possible formats for the document.

      In-class Teaching

      Early in the term, the class will choose one literary work as our teaching text. During the penultimate class, each student will be given time to teach the text to the remaining members of the class, who will offer written feedback. We will video record the teaching presentations for student use. Details of time and materials will be determined and posted later.

      Online Portfolio

      Throughout the semester, students will be asked to draft different materials as homework for planning and teaching a course, and these will be submitted for peer review in class. After review, students are expected to revise and submit the materials in their portfolios. This online portfolio will demonstrate the progress the student makes in preparing to teach literature, and it will also serve as a resource for the student as he or she begins to teach his or her own literature classes. Minimum contents of the portfolio are:

    • Syllabus : Each student will be responsible for constructing a workable syllabus as part of the online portfolio. Because the syllabus is the backbone of a course, it is the most significant element in the course portfolio. Each student will be allowed the opportunity to workshop the syllabus-in-progress online to get feedback on its development and to solicit ideas for improvement.

        Your syllabus should contain the following minimum elements:

      • Course information, title and description
      • Instructor contact information
      • Required and recommended texts and materials
      • Course objectives
      • Schedule of readings and assignments
      • Description of course assignments and grading weight
      • Course policies

      Other elements in the portfolio include:

    • Sample assignments
    • Statement of teaching methodology (including use of innovative technologies)
    • Grading policies-methods; assessment rubric
    • Teaching "philosophy"
    • Self-assessment
    • This syllabus is subject to change.

    Related Sites

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