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Teaching American Studies

ENGL 401.401
MW 2-4

NOTE: English 401, which will combine the study of American literary texts with high school teaching, is a two-credit course.*
-- Stated briefly: one credit is attached to the literary study, the second to the teaching assignment.
-- Stated figuratively: one credit will be earned in Bennett Hall, the other in University City High School. (University City is located at 36th and Filbert Streets, just a five-minute walk from the center of Penn's campus.)
(1) Each student enrolled in the course will meet the usual sorts of academic requirements for an undergraduate course: completing a list of readings in American literature and history, writing a series of brief essays, delivering one or more oral reports, perhaps sitting for a final exam. The details of the English 401 syllabus are not yet available: I will be working with the teachers this spring on the design of next fall'shigh school syllabus, and will then incorporate as much of the high school curriculum as possible into English 401. [It is my hope that students who pre-register for English 401 will be able to participate in this curriculum -planning process later in the spring.] The objective (see #2, below) is to give Penn students the chance to master materials in American studies before teaching those materials in the high school.

(2) Each student will assist a humanities teacher in University City High School, and will work two to three hours each week in that teacher's high school class. This teaching experience, in turn, will form the basis for a second set of written and oral assignments that each student will complete. To accommodate its dual purpose, the course will meet six or seven hours each week: Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 to 4:00, plus two to three hours each week in the high school. We will also meet from time to time as a group with the entire team of high school humanities teachers with whom we will be collaborating. The course will be demanding, but it ought to bring substantial rewards. Students who enroll in English 401 will have the chance to take part in an innovative course, in which they can integrate their own teaching and learning, and can make a significant contribution to the teachers and students of our neighboring high school.

I will need to consult personally with each student who is interested in English 401. Please get in touch with me by email, or feel free to call me, either at Penn (8-5726), or at home (610-543-7424). I will also be holding extended office hours during the pre-registration period.

Undergraduate Chairman's note: English majors taking English 401 may indeed count both course units toward the concentration if the topic of the concentration matches the material in the course. Consult with your advisor or contact Don't be fooled by the course number--401; this *is* a course for undergraduates.