Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 8, 2008

Thank you, Keith!

Filed under: comic/graphic texts — Joyce @ 4:30 pm

I also enjoyed our class last night, and Keith’s warm and thoughtful visit.

 One thing I really appreciated was his ability to show that not all his students are enthusiastic A plus-ers. Among the tests he passed out I saw one student write a message that said “down the elite!” which was an incredibly positive review for his teaching style, his class, and the quality of his school. But, in the same stack I also saw one student write the message “I hate you” and it felt so real to me that Keith shared this not-so perfect student’s message with us. It reminded me that not every student is initially receptive, even to the most excited teachers, even to the most fun courses, even to Keith (a man who I’d love to sit in with, as I’m sure all of you would.) It also reminded me that it’s okay to meet with opposition, and even that Keith seemed happy to show us the “real” experience of teaching. I appreciated that.

Second, my experience with the graphic novel is limited, but after last night I am quite taken with the genre. Concepts that Keith talked about such as Hero Theory, and the use of philosophical thought to help articulate discussions really affirmed for me the classroom validity. Graphic novels seem to be deceptively “easy” in that they allow the reader the pleasure of visual representation, but the foundation for the plotlines of a lot of what I saw last night was in no way “simple.” It was very eye-opening to realize that teens who are already reading this genre are wrestling with amazing ideas already, on their own, and that all a teacher has to do is realize this to tap into a wealth of topics for discussion. 

Additionally, I have a list of graphic novels that I am putting on my MUST read list, including MOUSE, IN THE SHADOW OF NO TOWERS, and PRIDE OF BAGHDAD.

 Thank you so much, Dr. Stearns, for setting up Keith’s visit. And thank you to Keith for coming, and sharing.

Joyce

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1 Comment »

  1. I agree Joyce that Keith helped us all see how to use any text to inform our students’ developing a critical literacy and engaging in complex thinking and analysis. I have been a proponent right from the beginning of our looking closely at the complexity of graphic texts rather than seeing them as “simple” or somehow an alternative to reading when reading them in fact requires a as great or greater sophistication at interpreting what those semioticians call “signs.” I’m glad you’re going to continue to look for graphic texts that interest you and will interest your students. Karen

    Comment by sunyprof — February 9, 2008 @ 2:04 pm


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