Young Adult Lit/Crit

April 10, 2008

Better Late Than Never?

Filed under: seminar feedback — kariredmond @ 9:57 pm

Okay, so I owe Sarah an apology for not posting my feedback to her Children of War seminar in a timely manner! I especially feel bad because she worked so hard to put together an interesting topic and really thought provoking seminar for us.

The topic, like my own, was depressing and heavy and there is absolutely no way to sugar coat anything pertaining to the lives of children as victims of war. Sarah did an exemplary job of introducing this topic by creating organized folders full of relevant background information on the wars in her focus (Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Cambodia).  Not only did she sell me on the three novels she presented (one relating to each of the three wars) but she had a table of books for us to look at.  I think the best thing presented by Sarah was the information on the Socratic method to teach these texts.  I was minimally familiar with this method of teaching, but hearing her account of how it actually works made it more real.  It was easy to see how important it is to raise awareness about these wars and how to incorporate these novels in the classroom setting.  I also enjoyed Sarah’s examples of actual student work from when she taught her student’s about genocide in Africa.  Also I learned that when we are teaching our students about something like this, it is ok to admit that, as teachers, we are human and do not have all the answers.  Sarah helped us to realize that with a topic this vast and new, it is ok to admit that you are still learning yourself or that you will have to look something up before answering a question. 

Overall, I was impressed with this professional seminar. The information provided by Sarah was immense but all very relevant. I have filed my folder so that I may use it when I have a classroom of my own! And she has also inspired me to read Memiors of a Boy Soldier… perhaps my book club book for the week!

Thanks Sarah!

~Kari

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