Fall 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This course is designed for teachers and future teachers of literature at the college level. On the one hand, literary studies has a long tradition of thoughtful teaching. Our signature pedagogy, the discussion of texts that students have already read, enables students to practice the interpretive skills we feel are important. The student evaluations for literature courses are, on average, very positive. But how much are our students really learning? Can we do better?
The course will focus on new findings in the science of learning and how they can be adapted to disciplinary ways of thinking. We will also consider the history of teaching literature at the college level in the US and how different critical approaches translate into classroom practice. To a lesser extent, we will consider some "nuts and bolts" issues like how to develop a syllabus, how to choose an edition, and how to grade a lit paper.
Ambrose et al, _How Learning Works_
Graff, _Professing Literature_
Bronte, _Jane Eyre_ (Broadview edition)
Twain, _Huckleberry Finn_ (Norton edition)
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
1. Active preparation for and participation in seminar discussion.
2. Short weekly exercises that follow from the week's discussion.
3. A final project: either a scholarly essay or a course portfolio for an undergraduate lit course