ENGL 820 4/12

When doing the readings for this week and thinking about the purposes of teaching as well as how to teach literature, I have to say I am just as confused as ever. How to teach literature, how to make the specialized languages and kinds of knowing visible to students is still an area I hope to research once I have the time. I am still unsure, first, what to identify as the specialized language as well as how to make accessible the types of attitudes and worldview literature is supposed to elicit. I’m quite sure the College Board’s special issue on “Reading Poetry” is not really teaching the specialized languages of poetry, but is instead providing examples of teaching activities, which could most likely be applied to other content-knowledge and do not have to do specifically with the intricacies and concerns of teaching poetry. I find it difficult myself to justify the teaching and study of literature given our economic and cultural environment. If anything, literature might inculcate students into the attitudes and dispositions valued in the professional world. I do see the significance of teaching cultural studies as a foundational course, if that course provides students with the ability to critique and think more deeply about popular culture and the media.

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