English Symposium

Grant T. Smith, Ph. D.

Discussion Questions: What Is English?


1. Do you have any experience with a teacher who viewed teaching as “a process of discovery of what is not yet known”? If so, describe that teacher’s methods and effectiveness. (For Viterbo professors: Have you ever walked into a classroom without knowing what you were going to do that hour?)

2. What different types of “assessment” have you experienced aside from the traditional grades you receive for assigned work? Describe those assessment strategies and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the strategies.

3. Answer the following questions with the Symposium experience in mind:


· What are you trying to learn in Symposium?

· What do you see this course trying to teach you?

· What are some of the ways you could demonstrate what you are learning (aside from the assigned writings)?

· What criteria do you think it makes most sense to evaluate you on?

· What are some ways you think you could demonstrate what you have learned from Symposium this semester?

· What suggestions do you have to make Symposium a better learning experience in the future?


4. Select one passage from Chapters 9 through 12 and discuss why it provokes you, amuses you, astounds you, puzzles you, excites you, or frightens you.