by Lise Gaston, English Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 My course “Introduction to the Writing of Verse” had a twofold aim: for students to cultivate a variety of poetic techniques and to develop the art of constructive criticism. While every student had experience writing poetry (they had to submit a Continue Reading >>
by Kate Driscoll, Italian Studies Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 In teaching Reading and Composition courses, I have found that students—many of whom come from disciplines outside the humanities—often search for the “right” answer to literature, expecting the black and white colors on the page to correspond to black and Continue Reading >>
by Erin Bennett, Comparative Literature Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 One of my primary goals when crafting a syllabus for a Reading & Composition course is to select texts with which my 18-year-old students can readily connect, but which also challenge them to develop their own coherent interpretations. Last spring, Continue Reading >>
by Ashton Wesner, Materials Science and Engineering (Home Department: Environmental Science, Policy, and Management) Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 E157AC: Engineering, The Environment, and Society is the only American Cultures course offered in the College of Engineering. I was thrilled to teach students pursuing rigorous scientific training with an interest Continue Reading >>
by Abigail Stepnitz, Legal Studies (Home Department: Jurisprudence and Social Policy) Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 We often ask students, either as part of a discussion or on an exam, to express an opinion on a complicated topic. What we’re hoping they’ll do is develop and defend a position based Continue Reading >>
by Brian Judge, Political Science Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 Challenge: Introduction to Political Theory is either the beginning or the end of students’ engagement with political theory at Cal: interested students may go on to enroll in further political science courses, but (statistically speaking) many will stop after the Continue Reading >>
by Bristin Jones, Comparative Literature Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 In my first semester teaching Reading and Composition (R&C) in the Comparative Literature department, I realized that one of the most significant challenges undergraduates face in engaging with literary texts is producing thought-provoking thesis statements and arguments. After years of Continue Reading >>
by Marianne Kaletzky, Comparative Literature
One of the core principles of literary analysis is that the form of literature — the language an author uses, the way he or she structures the text, and the stylistic conventions he or she employs — means as much as the content. … I wanted to help my students not only to become more attentive to formal features, but also to understand why those formal features matter … To cultivate this understanding, I decided to give my students an unconventional writing assignment …
by Jordan Greenwald, Comparative Literature
I…came to realize that this lesson could not be learned through class discussion alone, since asking these questions while leading discussion is pedagogically less effective than getting students to ask those questions themselves. I therefore decided, with the encouragement of my co-instructor, to design a group assignment that would familiarize students with the choices one makes when bringing a dramatic text to life.
by Laurence Coderre, East Asian Languages and Cultures
My…students were having difficulty understanding how to approach literary texts beyond the simple recapitulation of plot. Focusing on what a given reading said, they rarely considered the significance of how it was conveyed….Ming dynasty xiao pin wen, or “short personal essays,” in which authors write in great detail about frivolous or mundane things, offered me an opportunity to address this concept, and students’ difficulties in grappling with it, head on.