Essays on the Teaching of English: Reports of the Yale Conferences on the Teaching of English

Essays on the Teaching of English: Reports of the Yale Conferences on the Teaching of English

Essays on the Teaching of English: Reports of the Yale Conferences on the Teaching of English

Essays on the Teaching of English: Reports of the Yale Conferences on the Teaching of English

Excerpt

This is a book for the high school teacher of English. In it, good teachers try to say in concrete language how they have handled problems relevant to any English classroom: in the teaching of language, writing, and literature. As they do, the central motif of the book emerges: the problem of thinking; from this all else grows.

The essays offered here are drawn from Reports of four of the annual Yale Conferences on the Teaching of English, financed by the Yale Master of Arts in Teaching Program as a part of its inservice training. These meetings began in 1955 to bring together teachers of English--mainly from secondary schools, but always with higher education represented--to consider topics of special importance in the classroom.

For each Conference, working committees of outstanding teachers were assembled, meeting at intervals during the year. Their discussion of a particular topic culminated in a report to which all had contributed from their experiences and which was then disseminated at the Conference, first by being read by the Committee Chairman and discussed from the floor, and second by being included in a Conference Report distributed to all in attendance. Included also were talks by distinguished university teachers on topics central to a given Conference. The Reports have usually been taken home by those in attendance to be shared with other members of the Department of English. From them the present selection has been made in the hope, shared by the National Council of Teachers of English, that it will prove useful to an even wider audience.

Questions with which the committees were asked to grapple were such as these: What kind of language teaching should be going on in the secondary school? What is grammar? How should it be taught? How should new ideas on linguistics influence the traditional teaching of grammar?

Again: How can writing be taught? What writing skills are most needed? What acts of thought must a student perform in order to . . .

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