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NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers

Making the Good Reader and Citizen: The History of Literature Instruction in American Schools

Dates: July 12-July 23 2021 (meeting virtually)

Host Institution: Stony Brook University

Co-Directors: Andrew Newman (Stony Brook University) and Jonna Perrillo (University of Texas, El Paso)

Stipend: $2200

Our seminar will examine K-12 educators’ and school reformers’ changing conceptions of what constitutes a “good reader” across the twentieth century. To do so, we will trace two competing traditions in reading instruction: one emphasizes the role of literature in the student’s social, moral, and civic development; the other values skill-development and sees literature as a pathway to scientific, self-disciplined thinking that is also vital to the civic good. These tensions matter more today than ever. In developing a deeper understanding of this history, participating teachers will prepare to serve as stronger school leaders and more effective and creative practitioners.

Stony Brook’s School of Professional Development, a New York State approved provider of Continuing Education for Teachers and Leaders, will issue certificates of completion to all participants. For a fee, the School of Professional Development will also issue certificates for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits that are valid for New York State certification and that participants from other districts can use to request equivalent Continuing Education Units.