Shakespeare Seminar and Film Series 1
Part I Socratic Method of teaching and learning (Ch. 1-4) define, illustrates, and demonstrates how to implement Socratic Seminars.
Part II Tragedies: Why are LEAR and MACBETH unable to save themselves? (Ch. 5-7).
Part III Comedies: Is Beatrice in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING more of a feminist than Kate in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW? For Shakespeare, could Prospero become Prospera in THE TEMPEST? (Ch. 8-10).
Part IV History: How much of a Christian King is “war-like Harry” in HENRY V? (Ch. 11).
Everything in these exercises is based on the assumption that college level English students, not teachers, are the primary agents in learning. The corollary is that authentic learning is active learning. The consequence is that students must become responsible for their own learning.
What makes this series of seminars on Shakespeare unlike so many other books on the ultimate author of English literature? Several things. My fond hope is that this book will, first, help teachers of the next generation develop skills of independent, reflective, and critical thinking because I know that authentic learning begins only when teachers challenge students with real questions (problems about meaning) that demand solutions.
Second, I also believe that a person can acquire a life-long education from reading the works of Shakespeare--the ultimate English author who invented our sense of the human, according to Harold Bloom. As a result, careful, thoughtful, reading and rereading and meditation on these plays can become formative of values in our personal lives.
Third, the focus of this first of two books is on the text of two tragedies and two comedies, a romance, and a history and what the individual is able to draw from them alone. I am not concerned with what expert critics think these plays are about since such an enormous amount of this criticism has already been published. However, I do give those students interested follow-up research topics for independent study at the end of each play.
Since these plays were meant to be seen, not merely read, the book explains how to use film to bring Shakespeare to life through comparison-contrast discussion and writing.
Finally, whenever possible, I use several film versions of these plays to make them more accessible to today's students who are so visual. Since a film is itself an interpretation, this teaching series also explains how to use film to bring some of these plays to life through comparisoncontrast discussion, writing, and research on current events. Together, may we continue to help our students to “educate their imaginations” (Northrup Frey) through active and close reading and habitual writing. In short, may we enable them to become life-long learners.Purchase your textbooks today!
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