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ERIC Number: EJ1081075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0143
"Something He Could Do without Being Taught": Honors, Play, and "Harry Potter"
Yager, Susan
Honors in Practice, v11 p213-222 2015
Years after the publication of its seventh and final volume in 2007 and the completion of the film series in 2011, the "Harry Potter" series is still studied and cited by professionals in fields ranging from science and economics to law and theology (for recent examples see Gierzynski and Eddy; Reagin; Bassham). Its continuing popularity in the United States is evident in the multitude of courses, seminars, and extracurricular events offered in colleges and universities nationwide. This ongoing popularity is congruent with a general trend in the consumption, as well as teaching, of contemporary popular culture at the college level; series from J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" to Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" have proved to be attractive to the same student population. Susan Yager makes the case for this trend, defending her view saying that her her view, by saying the greatest benefit of using the "Harry Potter" series as a medium for learning is the way it rewards, and almost requires, not just reading but careful re-reading. As students spend time reveling in the world of wizards and magic, they can find both personal and academic connections in the text, and as her experience in several years of teaching honors seminars on "Harry Potter" can attest, these connections provide low-risk and creative pathways for students to learn from the Potterverse in a spirit of play. She draws on the thinking of Conrad Hyers in claiming that knowledge is not just a matter of creating structures of understanding, but of playing in a way that makes learning an ongoing process.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A