1. The big talk is around the New York Times Sunday Magazine’s article “Can Good Teaching Be Learned?” (or, as it is known online, “Building a Better Teacher.”) Although the driving question represented by the title is ridiculous – of course it can! – the article is compelling, as it follows one researcher’s quest to identify exactly what good teaching is, what training in good teaching would look like, and what its outcomes might be.
2. I’m teaching J. D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, and this week we’re talking about the concept of conformity/nonconformity. Entirely by serendipity, I came across this little treatise on the conditions under which conformity thrives or wanes. Interesting and useful.
3. I’m always looking for ways to organize my course stuff. Jim Burke’s system looks labour-intensive, but implementing it might be a good summer project.
4. If you’ve been reading here lately, you know I’ve been wrestling with the question of why the study of literature is important. Here’s a lovely post about it on Freethought Forum, with insightful comments.
5. One last exciting discovery – one I may have made before, but it only hit home yesterday – is MIT’s Open Courseware site, which gives access to course materials for, it seems, 1900 MIT courses. The link to literature courses is here.
Image by Deniz Ongar