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November 19, 2009

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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

Fall 2009
Time: Thursday
3:05 - 5:50 pm
Room: CPR 343

  • Assignments
  • Related Sites
  • Teaching IDEAS from 2004
  • Annotated Bibliography from LAE 6389 2004,2006, 2007, 2008

    1. 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 Blackboard. This is intended for PhD students in the Department of English; other students interested should check with the instructor before enrolling.

    Required Materials

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

    Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers 12th edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)

    Elaine Showalter, Teaching Literature (Blackwell, 2003)

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

    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.


    Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term

    August 27

      Class 1: Choosing Texts
      Sample Anthologies
      In-class reading
      Introduce Syllabus assignment; review parts of a syllabus
      General Education Overview
      Introduction to Literature, Poetry, Fiction, Drama, and Short-story

    Sep 3

      Class 2: Getting Started
      Exchange anthologies
      Marshall Gregory, "Do We Teach Disciplines or Do We Teach Students? What Difference Does It Make?" in Profession 2008: 117-129.
      Showalter, chaps. 1-2
      McKeachie, chaps. 1-2
      Assignment: Practical on Editions
      Review peer review -- Artifacts 109-112
      sign up for Syllabus and Teaching Resource presentations -- on WIKI
      Discuss choice of literary work
      Post #1

    Sep 10

      Class 3: Organizing the course
      Guest Panel: What I Wanted to Know Before I Started Teaching Poetry (or Fiction, Drama...)
      Showalter, chapter 4-7
      Reading from Instructor's Guide to NAEL and NALW in course docs
      Discuss Reading schedules - themes and how to prepare a text for teaching
      Assignment: draft course description, theme, objectives
      Form teaching groups- sign up for teaching dates on WIKI
      Vote on class literary work
      Post #2

    Sep 17

      Class 4: Teaching Methods
      Blau, chapters 1-5
      Conduct literature workshops
      Assignment: Supplemental reading lists
      Post #3

    Sep 24

      Class 5: Teaching Methods, cont.
      Showalter, chapter 3
      McKeachie, chaps. 3-6
      Discuss Active Learning strategies
      Student Presentations: Teaching Resource: Adam Pridemore
      Student Presentations: Syllabus Check: Kat Robinson
      Assignment: sample assignment
      Post #4

    Oct 1

      Class 6: Teaching Methods, cont.
      Showalter chapter 8
      McKeachie, chaps. 15-18
      Student Presentations: Teaching Resource: Jessica Trant, Jeff Spicer
      Student Presentations: Syllabus Check:Kelly Lavis
      Assignment: Hand in and discuss Teaching Observation
      Post #5

    Oct. 8

      Class 7: Writing Assignments
      Blau, chapters 6-10;
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource: Kurt Fawver
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Lindsay Sloan
      Assignment: Obtaining a Student Paper
      Post #6

    Oct. 15

      Class 8: Evaluation and Assessment
      McKeachie, chaps. 7-11
      Sherry Linkon, "The Reader's Apprentice" in course docs
      Chapters from The Happy Critic in course docs
      Discuss: Matching Learning objectives and outcomes
      Student presentation: Teaching Resource: Kelly Lavis
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Jude Wright
      Assignment: Group evaluation of purchased student paper
      Post #7

    Oct. 22

      Class 9: Practice Teaching
      Groups TBA - teaching unit
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource:Paul Corrigan
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Kurt Fawver
      Post #8

    Oct. 29

      Class 10: Practice Teaching
      Groups TBA - teaching unit
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource: Jude Wright
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Jarad Fennell
      Assignment: Statement of innovative teaching methods (including technology)
      Post #9

    Nov 5

      Open class -- potentially reschedule

      Post #10

    Nov. 12

      Class 12: Teaching Philosophy
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource: Kat Robinson
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Jessica Trant; Jeff Spicer
      Assignment: Statement of Teaching Philosophy -- peer review
      Post #11

    Nov. 19

      Class 13: Problems and Pitfalls
      Showalter, chaps. 9-10
      McKeachie, chaps. 12-14
      Guest Speaker: Dr. Gurleen Grewal - Contemplative Pedagogy
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource: Jarad Fennell, Lindsay Sloan
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check: Liz Hall; Adam Pridemore
      Post #12

    Nov. 26 -- No Class -- Thanksgiving Holiday

    Dec. 3

      Class 13:Rubrics
      Guest Lecture: Felix Wao
      Peer Review CLAQWA, rubrics - assessment
      Discuss Gen Ed assessment requirements
      Student Presentation: Teaching Resource: Liz Hall; Sarah Namulondo
      Student Presentation: Syllabus Check:Paul Corrigan; Sarah Namulondo
      Assignment: Make your own rubric for student essays
      Post #13

    Dec. 9 -- Deadline for turning in on-line portfolio

    ** 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: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Itís 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 25%

    Weekly Posts (6) 10%

    Syllabus Presentation 5%

    Review of Teaching Resource 10%

    Observation of Teaching 10%

    Group Teaching Unit 10%

    Online Portfolio 30%

    Description of graded assignments

    Attendance and Participation

    Students are expected to be present and to participate in group activities, homework assignments, discussion and evaluation of peers. 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 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 midnight before class, that is, Wednesday by 12:00am. 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, 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.

    Posts are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 for effort, not rightness or wrongness. 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 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 noon before class.

    Syllabus Presentation

    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 present the syllabus-in-progress to get feedback on its development and to solicit ideas for improvement.

    These will be scheduled 2 per class starting Sep 24. The presentation need not be formal, but you should outline what you have accomplished and be prepared with specific questions for the class. Due to the number of presentations, these must be strictly limited to 15 minutes; so please practice and time your presentation.

    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

    Presentation on Teaching Resource:

    Each class member will make one presentation on a teaching resource to be selected through the bibliographies in Blau, Showalter or McKeachie, or through your other course reading. I highly recommend that you explore the journal Pedagogy which is available online through Project Muse. Please review the Annotated Bibliography from LAE 6389 before making a selection. We will be continuing to build this resource during our course. Subjects for review can be in the form of an article, book, website, DVD or CD or video (or other). 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. Due to the number of presentations in the class, these must be strictly limited to 15 minutes (10 minutes presentation, 5 Q&A); so please practice and time your presentation.

    Please 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 review presentations; there will be 2 scheduled per class beginning Sep 24. The student should prepare an evaluative statement based on the above information to be included in the online annotated bibliography.

    As a class, we will be continuing the online annotated bibliography begun by the LAE 6389 class of S04. Please see Annotated Bibliography from LAE 6389 2004 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008. 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 Thursday following the last class, or Dec. 10.

    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 RTF so that I can format it easily.

    Observation of Teaching

    The parameters of this assignment will be discussed in class and decided as a group.

    Teaching Unit

    The parameters of this assignment will be discussed in class and decided as a group.

    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 (see description above)
  • Sample assignments
  • Description of organization, theme
  • Supplemental readings
  • 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

    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.

    Teaching, Learning and Technology at SUNY. Lots of resources for using technology in the classroom.

    Alternatives to Lecture short list of instructional options

    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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