Pause & Reflect: From the English Teacher’s Companion (4th Edition)


“Which of these three “traditions” best describes your beliefs about your role as an English teacher? Discuss where your position comes from and how it shapes your thinking about what and how you teach” (Burke 13).

The three traditions described in Burke’s text is the following: the cultural heritage model; the utilitarian model on language skills; and the student engagement model. Between these three, I would say that my teaching emphasizes mostly on student engagement. This does require more work, because it focuses on the students, not the subject. It also incorporates the other two models.

I may choose classic literature (Shakespeare, Greek mythology, etc.), but I may choose contemporary nonfiction and poetry to teach as well. I would definitely try to incorporate current YA novels that students might be reading, or at least have heard of from their peers. With a diverse set of reading, I can apply language skills and reading comprehension within the lessons.


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