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Under Construction Cover

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Under Construction

edited by Christine Farris & Chris M. Anson

Few composition scholars two decades ago would have imagined the rate at which their field is now developing, expanding beyond its boundaries, creating new alliances, and locating new sites for research and generation of knowledge. In their introduction to this volume, Farris and Anson argue that, faced with a welter of competing models, compositionists too quickly dichotomize and dismiss. The contributors to Under Construction, therefore, address themselves to the need for commerce among competing visions of the field. They represent diverse settings and distinct points of view, but their over-riding interest is in promoting a view of the field that values interaction and mutual development above dogmatics and isolation.

Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War Cover

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Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War

Edited by John Day Tully, Matthew Masur, and Brad Austin

Just as the Vietnam War presented the United States with a series of challenges, it presents a unique challenge to teachers at all levels. The war had a deep and lasting impact on American culture, politics, and foreign policy. Still fraught with controversy, this crucial chapter of the American experience is as rich in teachable moments as it is riddled with potential pitfalls—especially for students a generation or more removed from the events themselves.
            Addressing this challenge, Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War offers a wealth of resources for teachers at the secondary and university levels. An introductory section features essays by eminent Vietnam War scholars George Herring and Marilyn Young, who reflect on teaching developments since their first pioneering classes on the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. A methods section includes essays that address specific methods and materials and discuss the use of music and film, the White House tapes, oral histories, the Internet, and other multimedia to infuse fresh and innovative dimensions to teaching the war. A topical section offers essays that highlight creative and effective ways to teach important topics, drawing on recently available primary sources and exploring the war's most critical aspects—the Cold War, decolonization, Vietnamese perspectives, the French in Vietnam, the role of the Hmong, and the Tet Offensive. Every essay in the volume offers classroom-tested pedagogical strategies and detailed practical advice.
            Taken as a whole, Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War will help teachers at all levels navigate through cultural touchstones, myths, political debates, and the myriad trouble spots enmeshed within the national memory of one of the most significant moments in American history.

What We Are Becoming Cover

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What We Are Becoming

Developments in Undergratuate Writing Majors

Greg Giberson and Thomas A. Moriarty

Greg Giberson and Tom Moriarty have collected a rich volume that offers a state-of-the-field look at the question of the undergraduate writing major, a vital issue for compositionists as the discipline continues to evolve. What We Are Becoming provides an indispensable resource for departments and WPAs who are building undergraduate majors.
     Contributors to the volume address a range of vital questions for undergraduate programs, including such issues as the competition for majors within departments, the job market for undergraduates, varying focuses and curricula of such majors, and the formation of them in departments separate from English. Other chapters discuss the importance of flexibility, consider arguments for a rhetorical or civic discourse core for the writing major, address the relationship between rhetoric and composition majors, and review the role of multiliteracies in the major.
     The field of composition has not come to a consensus on the shape, content, or focus of the undergradutate major. But as individual programs develop and refine their curricula, one thing has become clear: we must think about them in ways that go beyond our particular circumstances, theorize them in ways that secure their place on our campuses and in our discipline for years to come. What We Are Becoming is an effort to do just that.

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