Young Adult Lit/Crit

May 14, 2008

Reflection on Sports Seminar

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mandy @ 4:00 pm

I think that my seminar went incredibly well and it helped that I absolutely loved my topic (sports) and had an abundance of interesting texts to navigate and utilize. For those who weren’t in my seminar, four fantastic YA titles that you MUST read include Raiders Night, Peak, Amazing Grace and Dairy Queen.

The most interesting thing about the reading I did was that my books weren’t just about sports, although sports were a central theme to my books and my seminar. All of the books contained other important topics and issues relevant to teens today– such as drugs, love, sexuality, relationships, trust, loyalty, sacrifice, and most importantly, they contained explorations of moral character. And I think this is a universal theme that is and can be explored in all texts, and which has come up in all of our reading this semester. I am intrigued by moral character, and how some people have it, while others don’t. Further, I think examining character is something that can be done with all texts, and through this, we can reach a better understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. Also, sports is only one of many ways that character can be explored! Although I loved my topic, at the same time, I was repeatedly disappointed with how girls are represented in the majority of sports texts. I want to try and locate several more texts where females are presented as strong athletic individuals, like in the two texts that I used for my seminar. Although I can appreciate cheerleaders and dancers, I don’t think this is solely how female athletes should be portrayed. I am interested in further studying why and how females are so sexualized in sports media, texts, and literature.

I really enjoyed the level of engagement of the participants in my seminar. I had a lot of fun presenting my topic and was glad that everyone was interested and involved. Alison, Erica and Josh asked some great questions and had some good suggestions, and there were immediately things I wanted to add to my seminar, which really revealed how instruction is fluid and constantly changing, and how we have to be open to these changes and learn and grow with our students. Since I have always been a sports buff, I felt like a expert on my topic and therefore, I felt very comfortable in front of my peers, which is definitely something that I have improved on during the course of this program. I also think that I have some fun ideas that I can bring to the classroom to keep my kids engaged and I can’t wait to do so. Finally, I loved this topic so much that if I get any choice during my student teaching, a sequence of instruction on sports is definitely something I am going use with my adolescents.

-Mandy

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