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Teaching Literature at Ridgeview

Edited By Russell Weaver

This collection of essays demonstrates that using fiction, poetry, and drama in the classroom provides students with the best opportunity to learn about thinking, writing, and life at their deepest levels. Several of the contributors have worked or studied at Ridgeview Classical School in Fort Collins, Colorado. E. D. Hirsch, in The Making of Americans, has said of this school that its success «stands as a sharp rebuke to the anti-intellectual pedagogy of most American schools». Within this volume, readers will also encounter essays by teachers who have not worked at Ridgeview but utilize the same approach to teaching, illustrating that these methods can be used with students at all levels of education, from rural schools to major universities. Included in the appendices are course descriptions, syllabi, and study questions to provide examples of how these teaching concepts can be applied in the classroom. Ultimately, these authors provide readers with new insight, in this era of supposed practicality, by illuminating literature as a down-to-earth vehicle whereby students can learn to read, write, think, and feel in ways that empower them both as learners and as human beings.
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Teaching the Text in High School



I am a teacher of English at Danville High School, which is a small, rural public high school located in Danville, Ohio. My teaching assignment is grades 9–12, and my average English class size is 14–20 students. The Danville High School Department of English consists only of two teachers; we both write our own curricula. Therefore, we decide what we want to teach and how we are going to teach it. For instance, my colleague enjoys contemporary literature, and she follows a progressive approach to learning and teaching. However, I predominately teach nineteenth-century literature, and I believe in Dr. Russell Weaver’s approach to learning and teaching. With that being said, I have worked closely with Dr. Weaver over the last few years to write an honors college preparation (henceforth known as CP) curriculum for English I, II, III, and IV.

My Educational Background as an Undergraduate Student

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