Analysis and Transformation
Dramatically increasing state control over education, state and national curricular standards, standardized testing, uniform assessment, accountability, and accreditation is taking place simultaneous with expanding canons, new conceptions of text, critical pedagogy, multicultural and perspectival teaching, and empowering new technologies. This complex and contradictory dynamic in English education occurs in a rapidly globalizing world in ongoing capitalist and environmental crisis. The context in which we live and teach literature today will frame and guide this section of English 6800.
Addressing secondary and university levels, this seminar aims to foster teacher intellectuals and professional leaders and develop their pedagogical content knowledge in the teaching of literature. To do so, we will examine the historical development of our discipline, issues in textual and interpretive authority, canon formation, educational standardization, cultural studies and multicultural materials and perspectives, literary theory and teaching, textual intervention and alternative knowledges, and the democratizing possibilities of emerging Internet tools and resources.
Thus, this section of English 6800 seeks to help literature teachers "understand the history of their present circumstances" and "what it means to teach, to study, and to become 'educated' [in literature] in the present moment" so that they can "individually reinvigorate the academic curriculum" (Pinar, 2012).
Teachers are invited to help make their classes and schools "center[s] of critique and a vital democratic public sphere that cultivates the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for the production of a democratic polity..." (Giroux, 12/19/11)
From the beginning of the course students will focus on a literature course that they currently teach, or would like to teach, and course work and the final project will be carefully and systematically developed around that class, putting into practice the analysis and transformation approaches we will be studying.
Our course will be taught in a wireless laptop classroom and will experiment with a variety of new technologies including remote hosted websites, collaborative writing forums, threaded discussion, social networking, blogs, Nings, etc.
Students are expected to join the National Council of the Teachers of English, Michigan Council of the Teachers of English, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and/or the Modern Language Association and write a proposal to present at a professional conference, such as the NCTE Conference, AWP Conference, or other professional English/education conference.
Class participation is vital in 6800, missing classes may lower the grade and missing more than 3 classes may lead to failing. This class will follow WMU academic honesty policies. If at any point in the semester if you feel stress, English 6800 offers free on-line therapy from Eliza!
Introductions / Professional Proposals
I. Class Analysis
1) Read: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault. Focus on pages 3-16, 23-24, 27-31, 58-69, 112-116, 123-126, 135-194, 200-209.
1) Communist Manifesto, sections I & II & IV by Karl Marx (1848)
2) "Althusser on Education" from Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, by Louis Althusser.
5) From Critical Teaching and Everyday Life (1980) (1-24) by Ira Shorr
Due: Class Analysis
II. Canon Analysis
1) Read carefully through the on-line syllabus, including all assignments. Bring questions to class.
2) Read: Macaulay's "Minute" on Indian Education, Viswanathan "Currying Favor," Hawkes "Swisser-Swatter," Applebee "The Birth of a Subject," Ngugi "Literature in Schools," and "American Literature a Comparative Discipline" by Paul Lauter.
III. Discussion and Response Analysis
1). Read: Handout: From Looking in Classrooms (3rd ed.) by Good and Brophy "Chapter 1" "Questioning" 346-357, Form 10.3, 10.4, 10.6, Methods of Classroom Observation Appendix A, B & C, pages 63-73 (6th ed.). "Questioning Behaviors" (from Making the Journey by Leila Christenbury, 1994, "Managing Recitation and Discussion" (chapter 10) from Secondary Classroom Management (McGraw Hill 1996)
2) Podcasts of Allen's lectures on discussion and related webpages:
1) Literature as Exploration, Louise Rosenblatt
Due: Discussion Analysis
1) Read selections from Webb, Literature and Lives; Teaching the Literature of Today's Middle East, and Reclaiming English Language Arts Methods Courses (in press)
1) Read: Literature and the Web by Rob Rozema and Allen Webb
4) Incorporate Internet tools for English teachers: Nicenet, Literary Worlds, Google Documents, Webquests, Blogger, Word Press, LiveJournal, Animoto, IMovie, Audio Boo, Google Ajaz Feed, Illuminated Texts, Prezi, (Glogster) Tagxedo, Wordle, Erasure, AfterTheDeadline, freeforms.org, mind meister, bubbl.us, Pikistrips, Webspiration, Good Reads, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Second Life...
5) Incorporate Internet resources for English teachers: On-line literary archives, starting point LitArchives.com (Some of these archives are actually collections of archives--explore to find archives you might work with): NaNo WriMO, Literature Circles, Literature Resources; Teaching Resources; Web Research; lesson plan sites such as Read/Write/Think, Outta Ray's Head, Web English Teacher, the Discovery School, New York Times Lesson Plan Archive, Cyberguides, Lesson Plans Page, ERIC, NCTE's Notes Plus (subscribers only), Lesson Planz.com; ezines such as Alt-X, Zinebook...
5) Join and explore the English Companion Ning (now over 30,000 members).
Standards / Standardization / Corporatization
1) Study state and national language arts standards NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts, (3-10-10) Michigan Standards For English Language Arts 6-12 (page 30-52), based on the Common Core Standards for Language Arts.
2) Read selections from Exceeding the 6-12 English Language Arts Common Core Standards: A Literacy Practices Approach
3) Common Core State Standards: The Promise and the Peril in a National Palimpsest by Arthur Applebee, English Journal 103.1 (2013).
Teaching Critical Theory
1) Read: Critical Encounters in High School English Second Edition by Deborah Appleman
2) Due: Curriculum Transformation
V. Instructional Transformation
1) Read: "I Won't Learn From You" by Herbert Kohl
3) Read: Textual Intervention: Critical and Creative Strategies for Literary Studies by Rob Pope, Chapter 1, and 2.
4) Read: Handout from Literature Circles by Harvey Daniels and the Literature Circles website.
1) Write a proposal to present at a professional conference drawing on the course you have designed. Bring copies of your proposal to class for all class members so that we can workshop your proposal.
Share Final Projects
Due: Final Project
Feb 26-Mar 1 AWP, Seattle
March 15-17 Michigan Reading Association Conference, Grand Rapids
April 6-9 CCCC Conference, Atlanta
Apr 10 Saturday Bright Ideas Conference Lansing
Oct 3? MCTE Fall Conference
Nov 17-20 NCTE National Conference, Chicago
Jan 5-8 MLA Conference, Seattle
Additional Relevant Websites
6800 student websites created in past courses
Examine English methods course syllabi at English Methods.com
created by: email@example.com