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Professional Seminar in the Teaching of  English

Illinois State University Course Number: English 510, Section 1
Semester: Fall 2000
Instructor: Bob Broad, Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education
Course meeting times: Wednesdays 5:30 to 9:20 p.m.
Course meeting places: Stevenson 221-A (alternative room: STV 214)

Course Overview

English 510 prepares Ph.D. candidates to teach English Studies with satisfaction and success in community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities.  More immediately, this course also prepares students successfully to propose and conduct their “Ph.D. in English Studies Teaching Internships” (English 591) and merrily to pass their comprehensive exams related to “pedagogical issues in English Studies.” 

We will begin with four questions which I believe we should answer both for university learning in general and for learning in English Studies specifically:  

  1. At the university level, what does it mean to “learn” and to “teach”? 
  2. What makes such learning and teaching “good”? 
  3. Why do people want to learn and teach in colleges and universities? 
  4. What difference does university-level learning make in the rest of the world? 

Then we will explore a series of teaching issues and related research and theory, including: 

Along with studying these customary academic and pedagogical concerns, I want us to devote serious attention to how such human experiences as hope, fear, love, anger, joy, desire, faith (lower-case “f”), and power shape our teaching practices. 

Course Format

Students will read extensively about teaching post-secondary English Studies, and compose a substantial corpus (40-60 pages) of professional writing focused on such teaching.  In the first half of the course, we will read books and articles dealing with current issues in the field.  We will write informally about and discuss those texts and issues and then collaboratively compose and individually “take” an exam modeled on the Ph.D. comprehensive exams in pedagogy.  During this time, students will be developing their questions and ideas for a series of professional research projects that will provide our focus for the second half of the course.  They will compose a syllabus and rationale for two exemplary courses (chosen from composition, literature, and linguistics) and a proposal for classroom-based research into a pressing question or problem in teaching English Studies.  Students will share, respond to, contribute to, and discuss each other’s projects in workshop fashion.  

Check the links below for more information.

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