I’m Janette and I’m still finding my way through this digital forum. It’s after my bedtime now, but I just discovered how to post to this blog….so yeah for me!
My work is very much focused on literature, but, I’ve discovered that what moves me personal is not always what works best in the classroom. I’m currently teaching an American ethnic literature course and so far what I’ve found engages my students is hip-hop, partying, sports and dating. As a teacher I feel like I can work with these….and as a literature scholar I feel like I can funnel those interest into the written word. I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching and everyday in the classroom is a new adventure from which I learn and grow (even as I’m getting my ass kicked). I’m currently working on a french translation project which is centered on Albert Camus’s The Stranger, a small group of poems that I unearthed from my adolensce and am revisiting (and revising, it’s a nostalgic piece), an outline for my thesis which will be focused on the figure of the witch/conjerer/hoodoo woman/shaman in American literary classics and I’m training for a half marathon all whilst heavily partaking of red wine.
So much of Dewian philosphy on curiousity-lead learning feels right to me. As a student I’ve experienced that it’s only that which interests us that engages us. As an instructor I’ve seen that it’s only that which excites students that is capable of directing their work and as a mother of young children I’ve seen how little difference there is between cognitive abilities and individual interest. However, the element of the Dewy piece that most resonates with me is not the plan of attack (another way of saying that would be his implementation of a pedagogical framework), instead it’s the level of respect and cooperation in the teacher-student relationship that really rings true to me in the Dewy piece. I’m particularly attracted to the transparency and openness of his theories. In a Dewian classroom the student is actively engaged in their own education rather than a passive and powerless participant. This is how it should be. This is what I’m moving toward.
See you soon. Thanks and goodnight.