EDUC 5XX, Spring 2012 Wednesdays, 7 to 10 (Central) and 8-11 (Eastern) Graduate School of Education Binghamton University SUNY
Dr. C. Beth Burch
Academic B, Room 246
Office hours—Evenings online
and by appointment via phone or email
Topics and Issues 2: Young Adult Literature will explore the reasons for and advantages of using young adult literature in the secondary English classroom. You will read some scholarly articles on using young adult literature as well as a representative selection of this literature, with titles chosen from recently published books, most of which are prize or award winners. We will read books targeted at male readers as well as book aimed at a female reading audience—and some that are indeed appropriate for all secondary students. You will be expected to engage in conversation, both written and oral, about these books, and you will be expected to write about the books as well. This course is designed to be a common-sense, lively approach to teaching young adult literature; it will solidify your experience with this sub- genre. If you teach reluctant readers, this course should be especially useful.
By the end of this course you should be able to articulate how young adult literature differs from canonical literature; explain how many well-meaning English teachers inadvertently kill the desire to read among students and note how you will avoid such an outcome; describe reasons for using young adult literature; and list some young adult literature titles for establishing a classroom library.
Texts for this course, available online, are these (in alphabetical order):
Alexie, Sherman—The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Bacigalupi, Paolo—Ship Breaker
Duncan, Lois—I Know What You Did Last Summer
Duncan, Lois—Who Killed My Daughter?
Erdrich, Louise—The Beet Queen
Faulkner, William—The Unvanquished
Gallagher, Kelly— Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It
Green, John—Looking for Alaska
Johnson, Angela—The First Part Last
Lockhart, E.—The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Tharp, Tim—Knights of the Hill Country
Vizzini, Ned—It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Your attendance is required. If you miss more than two sessions, your grade may be lowered one letter.
To be completely informed about class events and requirements, review and respond to your email through your BU or GMAIL account; the latest class information will be announced or confirmed to you via email. If you have questions about an assignment or would like your colleagues’ feedback on something that you are writing, write a message to the class via the listserv, NOLA-ENGLISH@GOOGLEGROUPS.COM
The assignments for this class will consist of weekly readings and online discussions, some of which will be conducted via chat and others of which may be through Google Plus video chat. Each of you will be asked to prepare bookpages for three books on the reading list; each person will choose different books. These bookpages will be distributed to the class. A template for the bookpage assignment will of course be provided. There will also be a final reflective paper not to exceed five pages due at the end of the course, exact due date to be announced.
Most of your grade in this course will come from your participation in discussions, from bookpages, and from the final reflective paper. Grades will be figured on a point system. Class participation is 25 points automatically per session of participation; bookpages are 100 points each; the final reflective paper is 100 points. My grading scale is:
94-100% = A
90-93% = A-
87-89% = B+
84-86 = B
80-83 = B-
77-79 = C+
74-76 = C
70-73 = C-
All members of the University community have the responsibility to maintain and foster an atmosphere of academic integrity. Specifically, this requires that all classroom, laboratory, and written work for which you claim credit is in fact your own work. The annual University Student Handbook provides detailed information on academic integrity. Binghamton University has obtained a license with Turnitin.com to facilitate faculty review of papers and projects in their courses for potential plagiarism; I may use this tool.
You and all students assume responsibility of the content and integrity of the academic work you submit. You violate academic honesty if you incorporate into your written or oral reports any unacknowledged published or unpublished or oral material from the work of another (plagiarism) or if you use, request, or give unauthorized assistance in any academic work (cheating). Neither plagiarism nor cheating will be tolerated. Incidents of either will result in a failing grade for the assignment in question, which will most likely have a negative effect on the final grade. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism or cheating, please ask me.
The Faculty and Staff in the School of Education are committed to serving all enrolled students. We intend to create an intellectually stimulating, safe, respectful, and enjoyable class atmosphere. In return I expect each of you to honor and respect the opinions and feelings of your fellow students.
If you are a student with a disability and wish to request accommodations, please notify me by the second week of class. You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 607.777.2868. The SSD office makes formal recommendations regarding necessary and appropriate accommodations based on your specifically diagnosed disability. Information regarding your disability will be confidential.
The descriptions below are broad and may not include everything discussed in or assigned for the class sessions; they are subject to change.
Week 1: Wednesday, 25 January
Tonight we will talk about how the class is organized. We will clarify the syllabus, discuss how the reading will be done, how we will respond each week, and how the bookpages will be distributed. I will distribute a template for the bookpage assignment. To prepare for class, first read through the syllabus and then read Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide; the Conference on English Education (CEE) Position Statement, “Research and Scholarship Focusing on Adolescent / Young Adult Literature”; and Lynne Alvine’s and Marshall A. George’s “Conversations from the Commissions: Furthering the Cause: The Study and Teaching of Young Adult Literature Author(s).”
Week 2: Wednesday, 1 February
Prepare by reading two young adult novels set in New Orleans: Paula Morris’s Ruined [Kelly’s bookpage], a mystery novel, and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker [Rachel’s bookpage], a dystopian novel. Two bookpages will be shared.
Spring 2012 | Topics and Issues 2: Young Adult Literature | Burch 2
Week 3: Wednesday, 8 February
Prepare by reading two young adult novels about New York teenagers who grow up poor in tough urban environments: Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last [Amy’s bookpage] and Kalisha Buckhanon’s Upstate [Rachel’s bookpage].
Week 4: Wednesday, 15 February
Prepare for tonight’s discussion by reading E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, about a girl chafing under the patriarchy at boarding school and in the world at large. A bookpage for this book will be prepared by Kelly.
Week 5: Wednesday, 29 February (Leap Day!)
Tonight we will discuss John Green’s Looking for Alaska, which is in many ways a companion to Disreputable History— another book set in a boarding school, but a different kind of boarding school. A bookpage for this book will be prepared by Amy.
Weekend Asynchronous Discussion: 7 PM (Central) on 2 March to 7 PM on 4 March
This weekend we’ll discuss two books by Lois Duncan—I Know What You Did Last Summer [bookpage by Kelly], a fictional story about an accidental death and its coverup, and Who Killed My Daughter? [bookpage by Lizzy], a non- fictional book about the real-life murder of Duncan’s daughter.
Week 6: Wednesday, 7 March
Prepare by reading Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, about depression and suicidal ideation in teenagers (but it’s not a depressing book). A bookpage for this book will be prepared by Rachel.
Week 7: Wednesday, 14 March
Tonight we read two books most appropriate for young male readers: Tim Tharp’s Knights of the Hill Country [bookpage by Lizzy] and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian [bookpage by Amy].
Week 8: Wednesday, 21 March
Tonight’s book will be Louise Erdrich’s The Beet Queen, a more sophisticated novel with young characters. Lizzy will prepare and distribute a bookpage. Prepare by reading the book and finding out what you can about Louise Erdrich.
Weekend Asynchronous Discussion: 7 PM (Central) on 23 March to 7 PM on 25 March
This weekend we will begin thinking about William Faulkner and start our reading of The Unvanquished—the place where everyone should begin reading Faulkner. This is a great book about growing up, Southern culture, and race.
Week 9: Wednesday, 28 March
We finish our reading of William Faulkner’s The Unvanquished, for which I will prepare and distribute a bookpage.
END OF COURSE
Your final reflective paper is due by April 11 @ 11:59 PM. This paper, in MLA format, should not exceed 5 pages and should reflect the growth in your thinking about teaching young adult literature. You will receive more help and instructions about this paper closer to the due date.
Spring Semester 2012: Important Dates
30 January - Classes begin
10 February - Course drop/delete deadline *
10 February - Course add deadline*
18 February to 26 February - Mardi Gras Festivities
31 March to 9 April - Spring recess (Passover and Easter) for Beth, Rachel Classes resume
10 April 11 May - Last day of regular classes
Last Updated: 3/20/12