Take Home Final Essay

This final assignment provides an opportunity to reflect back on and to demonstrate what you have learned in English 4800 by analyzing and comparing what we have learned in our class with: 1) observations of the real world; OR 2) with descriptions of other cutting edge methods courses described in the book <em>Reclaiming English Language Arts Methods Courses: Critical Issues and Challenges for Teacher Education in Top-Down Times</em> (2015); OR 3) with syllabi of similar courses at other universities. Choose ONE of the options below. 

Be careful to draw on and refer to the specific learning that took place in our class as you write the final essay, including justice/inquiry/action, traditional methods, discussion analysis, chapters from Teaching to Exceed readers workshop, and, of course, and perhaps especially the learning and experience of student-led instruction on justice, inquiry, and action literature teaching. (Minimum 5 pages)

Option 1: Comparsion with Secondary English Classroom

Visit a secondary literature or language arts classroom and observe one class period on at least two different days or two different class periods on the same day. Interview the teacher asking questions about his or her approach to teaching literature, curriculum, discussion leading, activities, etc.

For your essay, describe the class, students, and curriculum. Drawing on what you have learned in 4800, what seem to be the strength's and weaknesses of the teacher's approach? What are they doing that is consistent with what we have learned in our course? Are they doing things that either add to or contradict the approaches we have studied? Describe. If you were this teacher's intern how would you proceed? 

Show that you can talk about the approaches we have learned in our course (see above). 

Through your classroom visits, interview, and write up, demonstrate a high level of professional conduct, awareness of the complexity of the teaching process, and respect for the expertise and confidentiality of the teacher your observe.

Option 2: Comparison with Other Cutting Edge Methods Courses

Examine the book Reclaiming English Language Arts Methods Courses: Critical Issues and Challenges for Teacher Education in Top-Down Times (2015). Read 3 chapters and extensively discuss 2 of them in relation to our course. The goal is to reflect on and carefully analyze our course from a broader perspective, through the lens of other courses on the same topic taught elsewhere in the United States. What were the strengths of our version of this course? What strengths did you find in the other courses you looked at? How might our course be improved in future?

This book is available to you in full text online via the WMU Library access to Proquest. Here is the direct link: Reclaiming English Language Arts Methods Courses. There are three electronic copies available at any one time. Log in, study the Table of Contents, review the chapters, and download the three you want to read carefully. Then log out, so others can get in.

Of course, you can also buy the book! :)

Option 3: Comparison with On-Line Syllabi

Look over a number of on-line syllabi for courses similar to English 4800. Choose three to closely analyze and compare with our course. What are the similarities and differences between these courses? What do other courses include that our course did not? What did our course include that was not in the courses described on the web? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these courses? What would you like to learn from students who took this other class? What could they learn from you? Based on your analysis of these syllabi, what recommendations would you make for English 4800 next term?

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 11/23