2010 Final Projects




































































































































































































































Engl 6800 Advanced Methods of Teaching Literature Sp 2010

Analysis and Transformation
in the Teaching of Literature

The core of rebellion, as you have seen by this and read of other rebellions, are the universities; which nevertheless are not to be cast away but to be better disciplined, that is to say, that the politics there taught be made to be, as true politics should be, such as are fit to make men know that it is their duty to obey all laws whatsoever that shall by the authority of the king be enacted.

Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth, 1668

I ask the pardon of those teachers who, in dreadful conditions, attempt to turn the few weapons they can find in the history and learning they ‘teach’ against the ideology, the system and the practices in which they are trapped. They are a kind of hero. But they are rare and how many (the majority) do not even begin to suspect the ‘work’ the system (which is bigger than they are and crushes them) forces them to do, or worse, put all their heart and ingenuity into performing it with the most advanced awareness (the famous new methods!).

Louis Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, 1970

Dramatically increasing state control over education, curricular standardization, uniform assessment, standardized testing, 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 the midst of major capitalist crisis. The context in which we live and teach literature today will frame and guide this section of English 6800.

Considering the teaching of literature at secondary and university levels, this seminar aims to foster teacher intellectuals and professional leaders and develop their pedagogical content knowledge. 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.

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.

The class 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, and/or the Modern Language Association and write a proposal to present at a professional conference, such as the Bright Ideas Conference, in Lansing on Saturday April 10.

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!


Required Reading:

Appleman, Deborah. Critical Encounters in High School English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents. (NCTE, 2000)

Carey-Webb, Allen. Literature and Lives: A Response-Based, Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching Literature (NCTE, 2001).

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Vintage, 1979)

Rosenblatt, Louise. Literature as Exploration. Fourth Edition. (MLA, 1983).

Rozema, Robert and Allen Webb. Literature and the Web: Reading and Responding with New Technologies (Heinemann, 2008).

Packets including theoretical, historical, and pedagogical essays.  ($10 Copy Card required)

Extensive study of websites and on-line resources.

Selections from:

Althusser, Louis. Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.

Applebee, Arthur. Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English.

Boles, Herbert and Samuel Gintis. Schooling in Capitalist America.

Christenbury, Leila. Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Teacher of English Language Arts.

Daniels, Harvey. Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups.

Farrell, Edmund. "Instructional Models for English Language Arts, K-12"

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Flood, James. Handbook of Research on the Teaching of English Language Arts.

Good, Thomas and Jere Brophy. Looking in Classrooms.

Macaulay, Thomas. "Minute" on Indian Education.

Kohl, Herbert. I Won't Learn From You.

Lauter, Paul. "American Literature a Comparative Discipline."

Luke, Allan. "The Body Literate: Discourse and Inscription in Early Literacy Training"

Michigan English Language Arts Standards and Content Expectations.

NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts

Richard Ohmann. English in America.

Pope, Rob. Textual Intervention: Critical and Creative Strategies for Literary Studies.

Shorr, Ira. Critical Teaching and Everyday Life

Viswanathan, Gauri. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India.

wa Thiongo, Ngugi. Decolonizing the Mind.

Weinsten, Carol. Middle and Secondary Classroom Management.


Class Analysis 1/28 (10%)

Canon Analysis 2/11 (10%)

Discussion Analysis 2/25 (10%)

Curriculum Transformation 3/25 (10%)

Instructional Transformation 4/8 (10%)

Final Project 4/29 (40%)

Self-Evaluation 4/29 (10%)



Jan 14
Introductions / Professional Proposals

In class:

1) Introductions

2) Orientation to Internet tools: teacher websites (Google Sites), on-line syllabi, student created websites, student created wiki, class blog and blog roll (Word Press, Blogger), threaded discussion (Nicenet), Nings Teacher Research, Literary Worlds, YouTube...

3) Join and explore the English Companion Ning (now over 10,000 members).

4) Develop ideas for professional presentation:

Friday, Jan. 15: Bright Ideas Proposals Due
Wednesday, Jan. 20: NCTE Proposals Due

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Jan 21
Teaching About MLK, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
Sangren Hall 2302, 4-5:30

I. Class Analysis

Jan 21
Discipline and Subjectivity

Before class:

1) Read carefully through the on-line syllabus, including all assignments. Bring questions to class.

2) 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.

3) "The Body Literate: Discourse and Inscription in Early Literacy Training" by Allan Luke (use library login for full text, partial text handed out in class).

Jan 28
Marxist Perspectives

1) "Althusser on Education" from Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, by Louis Althusser.

2) "The Correspondence Principle" and "Conclusion" from Schooling in Capitalist America (48-49, 131-141, 147-8) by Samuel Boles and Herbert Gintis.

3) "Advanced Placement on the Ladder of Success" (51-65) from English in America by Richard Ohmann.

4) From Critical Teaching and Everyday Life (1-24) by Ira Shorr

Due: Class Analysis

II. Canon Analysis

Feb 4
Archeology of the Literature Curriculum

1) 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.

Feb 11
Canons and Context

1. Read "On the Margins in a High-Performing High School: Policy and the Struggling Reader" by Judith Franzak, Research in the Teaching of English (42.4, 5-08)

Due: Canon Analysis and presentation


III. Discussion and Response Analysis

Feb 18
Inclusive Discussion

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:

Feb 25
Authority and Interpretation

1) Literature as Exploration, Louise Rosenblatt

Due: Discussion Analysis

-------------------------------- Spring Break Mar 1-7 -----------------------------------

IV. Curriculum Transformation

Mar 11
Cultural Studies and Literature Instruction

1) Read Literature and Lives by Allen Carey-Webb

Mar 18

State and National Standards

1) Study state and national language arts standards NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts, the Michigan English 9-12 Language Arts Content Standards PDF, (Michigan English 9-12 Language Arts Content Standards Word Document (read/writeable)), the Michigan K-8 standards for English Language Arts and the brand new (3-10-10) proposed Michigan Standards For English Language Arts 6-12 (page 30-52).

2) Examine the controversy over the implementation of previous standards and the Michigan Merit curriculum described at MiEnglishStandards.com. On this site read the Letter to Teachers, and study the Model Curriculums -- download and read through at least one model, 9-12, from the MDE Merit Curriculum site. Signing the petition is, of course, optional! Information about Michigan's efforts to join "Race to the Top" are also available at MiEnglishStandards.

3) Prepare to provide input to MDE on the standards before the April 2nd deadline. This input could be provided via their Zoomerang surveys, or in other ways. Feedback to MDE Zoomerang surveys: ELA/Literacy K-5 Standards; ELA 6-8 Standards; ELA HS (CCR).


March 20-22
Michigan Reading Association Conference, Detroit Cobo Center

Mar 25

Teaching Critical Theory

1) Read: Critical Encounters in High School English Second Edition by Deborah Appleman

2) Due: Curriculum Transformation

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V. Instructional Transformation

Apr 1
Student Resistance and Problem Posing Teaching

1) Read: "I Won't Learn From You" by Herbert Kohl

2) Read: "Chapter Two" (30th Edition) from Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire.

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.

Apr 8
Instructional Models

1) Read: Handout: "Instructional Models for English Language Arts, K-12" by Edmund Farrell. 

Due: Instructional Transformation

Apr 10
Saturday Bright Ideas Conference Lansing

VI. Technology and Democracy

Apr 15
New Technologies / New Democracies?

1) Read: Literature and the Web by Rob Rozema and Allen Webb

Apr 22
Internet Tools and Resources

1) Examine internet tools that could be utilized as a basis of instruction for the course you are planning to teach. Possibilities include Google Sites, Word Press, Blogger, Wikispaces, threaded discussion (Nicenet), Nings, Teacher Research, Literary Worlds, YouTube ... -- and begin the development of the webresource for your final project.

2) Examine several 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.

3) Examine other webresources that you might find useful to include in your final project including: 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 bornmagazine, Alt-X, Zinebook.

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Apr 29 Finals Week: 7:15-9:15
Share Final Projects

Due: Final Project

Due: Self-Evaluation: Write a 4-page self-evaluation of your work English 6800 and propose a course grade.

Upcoming Events

March 17-20 CCCC Conference, Louisville

March 20-22 Michigan Reading Association Conference, Detroit Cobo Center

Apr 10 Saturday Bright Ideas Conference Lansing

Oct 15 Michigan College English Association Conference, Dearborn

Oct 30: MCTE Fall Conference

Nov 18-23 NCTE National Conference, Orlando

Jan 6-9, MLA Conference, Los Angeles

Additional Relevant Websites

6800 student websites created in past courses

Examine English methods course syllabi at English Methods.com


created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
updated: 1/10
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