A Very Good Place to Start: Approaches to Teaching Writing and Literature in Secondary School

A Very Good Place to Start: Approaches to Teaching Writing and Literature in Secondary School

by Craig Thorn Iv



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A Very Good Place to Start: Approaches to Teaching Writing and Literature in Secondary School by Craig Thorn Iv

A Very Good Place to Start, a collection of articles by members of the Phillips Andover English department, demonstrates how effective an English department can be if individual teachers are willing to take full responsibility for setting up their courses (often with considerable input from students) and are also committed to sharing what they're doing and how it's working. Instead of following a departmental curriculum, complete with sets of required texts, individual teachers are free to try new techniques and new materials geared to a particular class. The approach encourages a constant interchange of ideas and experiences among department members, to everyone's professional advantage.

When the editor invited his colleagues to contribute to a collection of essays, he had no intention of trying to put together a book. He simply wanted to photocopy the essays and spread them around the department, hoping to encourage others to join in. During the course of the writing, the teachers found themselves learning all kinds of things from each other. Further, the act of writing helped some of them understand what they had been doing for years. The book is a plus, but for the contributors the process of writing the essays, discussing them, finding striking parallels and differences among their basic attitudes about teaching and learning was reward enough.

In many, respects, A Very Good Place to Start is an invitation to teachers in English departments to put together their own collection. The book is an excellent tool for a teachers' workshop, because the essays are open-ended, inviting variations on the techniques and as an end in itself. Rather, it's a means by which every department can set its own course.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780867092837
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 10/21/1991
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Craig Thorn (M.A. Brown University) is the John Porter Instructor in English at Phillips Andover Academy. He has been a member of the Phillips faculty for nine years, and has taught writing since he was in high school. At Phillips he has helped design the core writing course as well as literature courses ranging from Native American works to studies of Hungarian, Czechoslovakian, and Japanese authors. In 1991 he received a National Endowment for the Humanities/Council for Basic Education summer grant supporting his study of Walt Whitman's influence on William Carlos Williams, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot, and Wallace Stevens.

Table of Contents


Introductory Writing Course

Read 'Em and Weep: Encouraging a Love of Language, P.A. Gilbert

Meeting the Author: The English Research Paper, T. McGraw

Our Problems with Water: Writing to Make a Difference, E. Germain

Marking Papers: Let the Students Do the Work, P. Kalkstein

Soaking Students in the Language of Writing, C. Thorn

Teaching Writing in Introductory Literature Courses

Readers as Writers/Writers as Readers, L. Kelly

Writing Across the Aims of Discourse: An Approach and a Method for Teaching Literacy Composition, K. O'Connor

Exhausted Student Writing Exhausted Haiku: An Approach to Introducing Literary Analysis to High School Students, C. Braverman

Making It Yours, T. Moss

The Ends in Sight, C. Thorn

Advanced Writing and Literature Courses.

In Defense of Film: Teaching Film and Writing, A. Fan

Writing about Yourself, J.A. Gould

High School Students, Writing, and Vietnam, S. Bardo

Acting and Writing, S.M. Klyza

A Literate Culture: Courses for an Active Education, C.Thorn. Afterword.

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