ERIC Number: ED342009
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Reflections on Robert Brooke's "Underlife and Writing Instruction": Implications for Pre-Student Teachers in an English Methods Class.
The University of Michigan's English Professional Semester (Pro Sem) is an upper level interdisciplinary program that explores student-centered approaches to the teaching of writing and literature. An advanced essay writing course, a senior literature seminar, an English methods class, and an observation practicum in local schools are integrated into a team-taught program that attempts to bring together reading, writing, and criticism in the context of teaching English to middle and secondary school students. The concept of "underlife" (as delineated by Robert Brooke) both informs and frustrates program participants as they formulate new lines of inquiry. Underlife can be understood as activities or behaviors that individuals engage in to show how they differ from identities assigned to them. One semester, student response to the demands of the class led to moves to decentralize classroom authority, although students were reticent to act on problems they were given the freedom to solve. Student comments recorded during a grievance period illustrate the idea of engaging in underlife activity in the ProSem. The concept of underlife thus comes to be seen as a critical aspect of the process of achieving both individual and social autonomy. In the classroom setting, social autonomy means a self-sustaining classroom community of learners that is empowered both by sharing their convictions and acting on those convictions. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Michigan
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (81st, Seattle, WA, November 22-27, 1991).