As a scholar I study 19th century American texts by women in science; as a teacher I use the principles of the scientific method to help students take control of their own learning. I have learned that those who struggle against barriers to their education, their freedom, and their voice often have the most meaningful contributions to make. I want my students to recognize the power of their ideas and their voices in my classroom. I want to give students the tools, whether in a composition or literature class, that allow them to see themselves as makers of knowledge. I want students to learn to think critically, to make meaning for themselves, and to be confident in the idea that they have something to add no matter their background.
My pedagogy rests heavily on discussion; however, I have found that many students are unclear about how to form a question that encourages their peers to add their own voices to the class. I created the Prezi below to help with this. I usually show it on the second or third day of class. We spend time doing the activity described in the Prezi and then use the material for that day to practice discussion.
Here you will find links to syllabi I have created and taught.
In this course we will be discovering representations of professional women in a variety of fields through a wide range of texts. We will hear from a multiplicity of voices across time, race, ethnicity, genre, and class in order to discuss both the women written in the texts and the women who wrote them.
In this course we will be discovering “the life that writes itself” through a wide range of texts. We will hear from voices across time, race, ethnicity, gender, genre, and class in order to discuss not only these particular authors and their texts but also to learn more broadly about the purposes, meanings, and definitions of autobiographical literature.
This course is a writing workshop focused on writing as a kind of inquiry and the critical thinking that occurs while we write—not before we write. We will be discovering and creating knowledge surrounding texts about American women in science and medicine from the 19th century to today. We will start with historical knowledge and then expand our view to current women of science and the issues that they are dealing with now. We’ll also engage in processes of invention, critical reading, drafting, revision, and editing as we complete our writing projects.
The peoples of America have long used literature to delineate their values and concerns as their relationship with the world around them changed. We can look to this literature not only to enlighten us about the past but to assist us in discussing today’s issues that are linked to the past. We will first discuss a broad range of nature writings, then a set of texts (from autobiographies to poetry) that introduce social constructions that seem natural (especially gender), and then move to literature (from non-fiction tracts to novels) that explore what happens when unexplainable events challenge constructions such as gender and nature. This semester we will hear from a wide variety of voices and will take a broad view of the term literature as well, reading in multiple genres from speeches and poetry to short stories and novels.