Symposium 127 – 427
Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.
Discussion Questions for Chapters
One through Four, What Is English?
a two to three page response to any of the following items:
Relying upon your own experience, describe how you “best learn.” Consider
how you learn any or all of the following: critical thinking skills, composition,
reading, grammar. Accompany
your essay with a drawing of your “theory of learning.”
Assume you have been assigned to read a short story by James Joyce, and
that you will discuss the story the next day in class. Describe
your reading process for this assignment.
Read again carefully E.D. Hirsch’s position on “cultural literacy” (pages
17, and 38-41). Discuss why
you agree or disagree with Hirsch. Consider
the strengths in his position as well as the flaws in his assertions.
If you have experienced “tracking” in your education, describe the positive
and negative effect tracking may have had on your learning.
Choose any passage in Chapters One through Four and respond to it.
Describe one incident from your education thus far that summarizes how
you feel about English.
Elbow’s book was first published in 1990; hence, many of his examples may
appear to be “dated.” Is the
book itself out-of-date? In
other words, has education changed so dramatically in the last ten years
that Elbow’s concerns, resolutions, and descriptions for change are obsolete?
What questions do you have about Peter Elbow, composition, English, learning,
or teaching now that you have read these chapters? Write five questions
and respond to them.