Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kelsey Forkner, Susan George, Josette Lorig - Pedagogy, Literature, WAC

Kelsey Forkner, Susan George, Josette Lorig - "Making Ends Meet: Literature Pedagogy, Faculty-Graduate Student Teamwork, and Undergraduate Literacy"

Presentation Focus
Literature Pedagogy, Writing Across the Curriculum, TA-Faculty relations, 'scaffolding', General Education, Writing in Lit Courses, Unorthodox teaching practice

"Under the direction of Dr. Weeks, our panel conducted a semester-long Independent Study in pedagogical practices sought, found and developed in ENG 125, a G.E. Literature course. Discussions of best teaching practices often presuppose optimal circumstances. But real courses are usually implemented under conditions which are given rather than chosen. Learning how to reconcile the conflicting ends of an actual course can help build confidence and develop strategies for future use. In this presentation—a project group of three graduate assistant teachers—describe and evaluate strategies and techniques for implementing a large multipurpose lecture-discussion literature course taught to non-literature majors in the General Education sequence of a middle-sized state university. We will discuss 1. the contingencies of the course, 2. sources of guidance consulted, 3. the practical methods or devices we developed, and 4. the more general lessons we learned not only about teaching literature but also about student literacy, which is defined here as advanced skill in reading and writing, as well as an understanding of literature and the language in which it is expressed or discussed. Concisely put, we asked ourselves what could be done to reach more students and provide a useful takeaway for non-majors. In other words, what's in it for them? We were after a literature pedagogy that could help us teach a more balanced class without pandering or oversimplifying. "

Presenter Bios

Kelsey Forkner: Master's Student at Illinois State University studying English with a concentration in children's literature.

Susan George: MA graduate in English Studies with a focus in lost women's Modernist literature, culture and theory.

Josette Lorig: Master's Student at Illinois State University in Literary and Cultural Studies.

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