Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

3. Gothic Undercurrents

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Problem-Based Learning Projects

""How can I get my students to think?" is a question asked by many faculty, regardless of their disciplines. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students' curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter. PBL prepares students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources." -- Barbara Duch, University of Delaware

  1. Because you have just studied the writers in this unit, you have been asked to help organize a new course being offered by the psychology department of your school, "Gothic Psychology." The idea is to introduce students to human psychology as represented by writers in the gothic tradition. Referring to the texts of this unit, outline the syllabus for the course.

  2. Congress is commissioning you to prepare a study about the effects on readers of violent, disturbing literature--i.e., gothic literature. You are told that among sociologists there are two schools of thought: one is that such literature acts to "purge" the violent tendencies of people, allowing them to vicariously "let off steam" in a safe environment; the other is that such literature only desensitizes people and therefore makes them more prone to violence. How would you evaluate this problem, and what recommendations would you make? What information would you need, and what resources would you have to consult? Who would you ask?

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