Reading, Writing, and the Real World

I love, love, love when assignments have real-world applications and immediate, tangible effects. It really makes a connection in students' minds that, lo and behold, these things we teach them actually have practical uses — that students learning something that will actually help them accomplish tasks not just in the future, but today. In this hastac.org blog post, Cathy Davidson… Continue reading Reading, Writing, and the Real World

Technology in the Classroom

I'm a journalist by trade, and I cut my teeth in the newspaper industry — an industry that is struggling to survive as technology makes breaking news and information (whether factual or not) available in real time and at your fingertips through social media and other forms of online communication. Luckily, my professors at Oakland University realized the… Continue reading Technology in the Classroom

Engaging with the Different and the Queer

This week, we are building upon our other critical pedagogy readings and challenging ourselves, as teachers of English, to continue to develop our students’ critical thinking skills, especially as they relate to approaching culturally ingrained “norms” in texts. Those “norms” are the culturally dominant and accepted views of class, race, gender, sexuality, and more. I… Continue reading Engaging with the Different and the Queer

Confronting ‘Dangerous Subjects’ in Literature

This week’s readings address the importance of confrontation in the university classroom. Not confrontation in the angry sense, as in going toe-to-toe in an argument, but confrontation in the sense of standing to face the hard issues head-on instead of glossing over them or, worse yet, refusing to explore them. Showalter (and Wooden in the… Continue reading Confronting ‘Dangerous Subjects’ in Literature

Assessing Student Understanding

Much of this week’s readings center on evaluation. How do we evaluate what students are learning and taking away from the course? Is it through demonstration? Classroom participation? A combination of both? Something else? The article that resonates with me is Tim Blackmore’s “Play Your Cards Right: A Narrative of First-Year Students' Reader-Responses,” published in… Continue reading Assessing Student Understanding

Critical Thinking and the Literature Workshop

To prepare for week two of discussions on methodology for teaching literature and cultural studies, we read the first half of Sheridan Blau’s “The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers.” While our previous few readings on teaching so far have been more of a general overview of what to do (and not to do)… Continue reading Critical Thinking and the Literature Workshop