BookView Review: The View from Darien: Essays in the Teaching of High School English: Motive and Method by Professor Don Gutteridge

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

The View from Darien: Essays in the Teaching of High School English: Motive and Method

Professor Don Gutteridge

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Award-winning Canadian author of poetry, fiction and scholarly works and professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario Gutteridge shares a collection of his English teaching articles from various publications. “Some Principles of Question-Design” delves into the challenge of providing students with questions on a major work which compel re-reading and textual constraints while encouraging independent interpretation, response, and hypothesizing. In “Setting Goals for English: A Model and Several Cautions,” Gutteridge calls for an evaluation/accountability model that provides each individual literature teacher a level of freedom to exploit their talents and that of their students without worrying about the demands for accountability and the clarifying of their goals and procedures. In “The Affective Fallacy and the Student’s Response to Poetry English Journal LXI, 2 (February, 1972),” Gutteridge draws from his own experience and the issues raised in other scholarly publications and states that in the hysterical climate of modern-day North America, the value of poetry as a fixed pattern of feeling, a permanent set of relationships among objects – rendered through word, rhythm, sound, drama – has easily lost sight of. Sympathizing with the honest dilemmas of the young as they struggle to make compatible the conflicting aims which they find between the pseudo-art of the streets and the political platform, Gutteridge calls for a direct approach, emphasizing the importance of teaching poetry for what it is and can do, trusting that students will find for it a proper place in their own life. The accompanying diagrams, examples, and endnotes encourage further study, and the question composition techniques offer a huge range of practical tips to help teachers make the most of their teaching space and get students working in more focused ways. Guttridge’s no-nonsense approach makes this collection an essential handbook for practicing ELT teachers.


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