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In our current major, students have room to choose courses, but they do so within a framework that has already decided for them, in broad terms, what they should study (in representative samples): British literature (pre- and post-1700), American literature, Shakespeare, the work of a major author, etc.
The framework that Beth presented at our opening meeting shifts a good deal of the decision-making to the student (in collaboration with her or his adviser). In this framework, the student must assemble a coherent combination of courses and be able to articulate what makes the courses a meaningful whole.
Use this page to discuss the question of responsibility for student learning in the major. Some things to consider:
- Broadly speaking, what do we owe our students as a faculty of English? What are we responsible for (in general, not under one configuration of the major or another) in their learning?
- Broadly speaking, how much responsibility is it appropriate for students to bear in deciding what they should know?
- If you believe that our current major leaves too much of the decision-making to the faculty but that Beth's suggested framework leaves too much to the student, do you have any ideas about how to find a balance-point between the two?