American Literature, American Learning Recap 2/10

American Literature, American Learning   Feb 10, 2016


1. Inventory —project the Google Doc  Begin with inventory and have everyone interview someone else and then add at least one or two SuperPowers to the list.  Go around the room and read the new Superpowers.

2.  Method

–Array of texts is the fast dip into thinking about histories and theories and methods of learning and teaching all together.  You don’t have to do this when you make the syllabus for the second half of the class.

Flipped Class:  It’s a cliche for English teachers to say they have always used a “flipped class” in the seminar.  That’s not true.  In a flipped class, you read before class and then use class time for every single member of the class to engage in active learning.

–Lectures:  10-15% content, retention, applicability

TED Talk ethnographies–not content, not interpretation, not main points.  Often props, funny story, cute picture: kittens and puppies.  

In “standards based learning,” we use the method of the lecture (one to many) and then test as if we’ve done engaged learning.  

–Seminars are not much better.  Professors often think they have 100% participation when they have 20%.  You cannot counter structural inequality with good will. You must structure equality.

–The sociological result is that those who can learn from apprenticeship, hierarchical, imitative models are most likely to get the A–often because they share unstated values and cultural similarities with the professor.  This helps explain the 87% white full professorate.   

English teachers come from the most affluent of any background and the most educated and it may be because “interpretation” is the least transparent of any process, the most susceptible to shared vocabularies with insider meaning, the most shared covenants and methods.   

–Our class: what we have done is a “double flip” technique.  It’s Think Pair Share as a full on methodology.

  • Everyone reads.
  • One student or two blogs (thank you, Jeff!)
  • Everyone reads the blogs–itself a synthesis and interpretation of a complex body of information–and everyone responds.  Everyone reads everyone else’s responses.
  • We do TPS and other exercises in class
  • Those are several individual and collective processes that are all about not just reading but interacting with the text, making an active writing commitment to an idea in dialogue with others.  And it is on a public platform.
  • Reading, writing, dialogue, synthesizing.   It maximizes the learning and the personalizing of learning in every way.

  1.  Discussion   Index Cards:  What is the single most urgent idea from our readings, from the blogs, etc? 


  1.   Class Constitution 


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