Why literature? Why blogs?
I’ll start at the first question. I love literature. I loved it when I was in middle school — so much that I decided that I wanted to be an English teacher for the rest of my life. So, more than thirty five years later, all I’ve ever done to earn a living is teach literature. Why do I think it’s worth doing?
My hope is that by reading literature and sharing thoughts about it, students’ lives will become richer — as mine has. And I think that blogs might be a natural way for students to share their thoughts about literature and to find other people’s thoughts on the literature. I also hope that students develop some skills for writing blogs and sharing ideas — for finding good things related to this course, which can be applied to other thi ngs that they really want to learn about. I read a really interesting article in Sunday’s New York Times that talked about how a community that has adopted a “21st century classroom” has not seen scores improve. The article also includes some interesting graphics about school spending and some audio from people who are interested in what the future of education looks like. I guess this article serves as a warning to me that students should be writing for a purpose — and that I need to make sure that all of the assignments have a purpose, rather than having assignments that are ends in themselves.