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April 12, 2004

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Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301J
Phone: 813-974-9496

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LAE 6389 Practice Teaching Literature

Spring 2004
Time: Thursday
3:00 - 5:50 pm
Room: CPR 254

  • Assignments
  • Related Sites
  • Teaching IDEAS
  • Annotated Bibliography by the class

    1. Course Description

      The class will be run as a discussion-oriented, information-sharing forum. We will take advantage of web resources, including weekly reading of the online Chronicle of Higher Education. We will identify the pedagogical interests and critical priorities of the group and design our practical assignments around them. Our goal will be to provide a weekly meeting for the airing of strategies, concerns, problems and plans for the teaching of literature. At the outset, the practicum will be organized around the following generic questions:

      • What are the issues affecting the teaching of literature in the academy today?
      • What resources are available for the beginning teacher of literature and how useful are they?
      • How do we choose an introduction to literature text?

    Required Materials

    Weekly readings from Chronicle of Higher Education

    Browse the week’s edition of the paper and choose an article that deals with some aspect of teaching as it might relate to teaching literature. You can write your weekly post on this article. If you choose to do so, include the citation in the top of your post so that others can read the article as well. You may choose to read and write on the same or different articles.

    There are no other required texts for this class. Feel free to bring texts to the attention of the class for general reading.

    Electronic Media

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

    Electronic Discussion We will be using the USF Blackboard system and the discussion board I have created for this class. 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.


    Jan. 6
    Class 1: Brainstorming


    Jan. 13
    Class 2: Teaching the assigned / unread / unliked text
    Practical: Teaching Temperaments: What kind of teacher are you?

    Jan. 20
    Class 3: How to balance background with textual reading / Which/how much research in balance with interpretation.
    Presentation: Sasha

    Jan. 27
    Class 4: Group work – alternatives to lecture / How to facilitate a discussion so as to avoid becoming a lecture.
    Presentation: Greg

    Feb. 3
    Class 5: Teaching the steps to write well about literature / How to teach critical analysis.
    Presentation: Leah

    Feb. 10
    Class 6: Evaluation – how much emphasis on content vs. mechanics / What kind of evaluative assignments are most effective/balanced with material / Balanced assignments – Gordon rule / Alternative writing assignments
    Presentation: Nicole

    Feb. 17
    Class 7: Technology: Drawbacks to teaching with technology – losing linear reading
    Presentation: Bill


    Feb. 24
    Class 8: Cross-curricular ideas and methods: drawing disciplines together in the classroom
    Presentation: Sasha

    Mar. 2
    Class 9: Teaching literature as something other than literary: modes (anthropological, historical, psychological, legal, political, etc.)
    Presentation: Liz

    Mar. 9
    Spring Break

    Mar. 16
    Class 10: Motivating students through interdisciplinary methods: employing film, music, art, drama, etc.
    Presentation:Keith and Bill

    Mar. 23
    Class 11: How to construct a syllabi with diverse directions in reading / introducing special topics
    Presentation: Greg

    Mar. 30
    Class 12: Canonicity vs. diversity
    Presentation: Keith and Nicole

    Apr. 6
    Class 13: Choosing a good text

    Presentation: Liz

    Apr. 13
    Class 14: Using online sources to gain access to cross-curricular teaching
    Presentation: Leah

    Apr. 20
    Class 15: Conclusions
    Practical: Teaching Philosophy, due for class.

    ** 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.

    Graded Assignments

    Attendance/Participation 25%

    Weekly Posts (13) 25%

    Two (2) presentations on Teaching Resources 25%

    Group on-line annotated bibliography 25%

    Description of graded assignments

    Weekly Writings – Class Discussion Board

    All members are required to participate in the electronic discussion board maintained through Blackboard. Writing assignments will 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 the day before class, or Monday by midnight. 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. This forum is also open for other relevant discussions.

    For general information on weekly posts to discussion board, including instructions for registering, click on Postings.

    Read the posts of your classmates before composing your post (obviously, not everyone will be able to do this in entirety.) Contribute something original to the discussion, even if it is only a relevant question. As you will discover, I believe the key to learning is asking the right questions.

    Because this is a pass/fail course, your posts will simply be recorded as such. Please devote some thought to these posts, because they will constitute a large part of our discussion material.

    You will be responsible for reading ALL the posts before class discussion, even if (especially if) you posted early.

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

    Presentations on Teaching Resource:

    Each class member will make two presentations on a teaching resource: one on a pedagogy resource and one on a teaching text. These resources can be in the form of an article, book, website, DVD or CD or video (or other); however, a teaching text should be something that you or someone else would use in the classroom and assign to students (generally a book). The student will be responsible for providing access to the material in some form so that other members of the class can participate in the evaluation. In other words, provide copies of an article (online or on paper), bring in the book to share, have the CD to play in class, etc.

    In the interest of coherence, the resource should reflect in some way the concerns of the topic for that particular day, but this is not restrictive. In general choose a resource that you are genuinely curious about and believe will be helpful.

    Your presentation can be informal, but provide some basis of evaluation for class members to discuss. Try to provide answers to the following questions:

    • What is the resource? Title, author(s), format, publication information including date, price, availability, etc.
    • What is it about? (Summary of contents.)
    • How is it organized?
    • How is it helpful?
    • What is the audience?
    • In what situations could it be used?
    • What are its strengths/weaknesses?
    • How would you rate it?

    Students will be responsible for signing-up for two separate presentations during the semester. For each, the student should prepare an evaluative statement based on the above information to be included in the online annotated bibliography.

    Group online annotated bibliography

    After each presentation, students will be asked to submit a formal entry into the annotated bibliography that we will construct as an ongoing project during the class. Final date for last entries will be the Wednesday of finals week or April 28.

    Entries should follow standard MLA formatting. The annotation should be written in clear, full sentences. These annotations can be as long as the resource merits.

    Please submit as Microsoft Word Files or plain text so that I can format it easily.

    Class Organization:

    Discussion topics for each class reflect the questions and issues raised in our initial brainstorming session. Please use these as guides for, not restrictions on, our discussion.

    Although I intend this class to be informal and practical, and I want it to reflect and meet the needs of its participants, I propose the following general structure to help us get organized.

    Weekly readings in the Chronicle and weekly posts to be discussed in one half of class.
    Presentations or practical exercises to be done in the other half of class.
    The group can decide which should go first.

    Revised Feb. 9, 2004

    This syllabus is subject to change.

    Related Sites

    PET (Project for Effective Teaching) Resources: bibliography of pedagogy resources aimed to help the new teacher in his or her craft. Maintained by Williams College for its new faculty.

    50 Alternatives to Lecture suggestive list of instructional options; from Teaching, Learning and Technology at SUNY

    USC Pedagogy Resources

    Teaching Goals Inventory The Center for Teaching at The University of Iowa is pleased to bring the Teaching Goals Inventory to you online.

    Teaching Bibliography from the Center for Teaching and Learning at Cornell University

    Electronic Archive for teaching the American Literatures The Electronic Archives are created and maintained by the Center for Electronic Projects in American Culture Studies (CEPACS) at Georgetown University's American Studies Program.

    NCTE homepage National Council of Teachers of English

    Teaching Literature Bibliography Linked from the syllabus of a (far more structured) Teaching Literature class by Prof. Byron Hawk at George Mason University

    Teaching Temperaments:

      On learning Styles: From the Georgia State Master Teacher Program, this site offers information on how temperaments inform different learning styles and strategies for adopting teaching methods to meet these different styles.

      Jungian Typology test: an online test from a site entitled Humanmetrics.

      Kiersey Temperament Sorter: Commercial website that provides updates Kiersey's Please Understand Me, including "A Modern Guide to Temperaments."

    There are numerous other resources available. Please contact me with additional information.

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