Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 5, 2008

Reflection on my seminar

Filed under: seminar feedback — allison @ 10:33 am

First, I would like to thank Raph, Jess, and Erica for coming to my seminar. I couldn’t have asked for a better group. We had some great discussions, and everyone brought something to the table.

We started off by exploring our own memories of 9/11. This was a great place to start, and allowed me to talk about oral history, the recording of history, and primary versus secondary texts. The same discussion could be conducted in a classroom as an intro to critical literacy- new historicism, cultural criticism, etc.

Everyone had great stories to share. Raph’s story sad story about hearing people call muslims “towel heads” sadly played into one of the topics of my seminar- the treatment of muslim Americans after 9/11.

As we talked about the books, we came up with even more ideas for extension activities that students could do. It made me realize more than ever that this topic is so relevant and can be expanded in so many ways. Students would could have the freedom to develop their own critical skills in a topic like this one. I believe they can do this more with this topic than with worn-out units that we see over and over again in high schools. Are the texts from my unit classic literature? No. Are they relevent to the lives of the students, as well as the rest of us? Certainly. This is ultimately a recurrent theme of the reading we have done this semester for class.

The best part of this seminar was the discussion of the issues that are still relevant today. Raph, Jess, and Erica had so much to say about the topic, and were coming up with suggestions for student projects along the way. It made me realize that as teachers, we should be bouncing ideas off of each other, because that’s how we can get the best lessons for our students.

The other part of the seminar that was powerful for me was when I read excerpts from the books. Because of the topic, some of the selections were extremely powerful, and sometimes extremely upsetting. Although these were tough issues, I was glad I could share them with Raph, Jess, and Erica. I think, if anything, this is why we are teaching. If I were to have my students do this type of project in the classroom, I would want them to experience this- sharing something important with others, raising awareness.

I truly enjoyed giving this seminar. It was a great experience for me, and I would like to thank Erica, Jess, and Raph, once again for participating.

Allison

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