[Milton-L] teaching practices

Duran, Angelica ADuran at sla.purdue.edu
Mon Feb 23 12:38:40 EST 2004

Hello, scholars,

Ascertaining the student's intended answer is a very question to me.  I want to have fair practices so that I do assume that the "good" student knows the answer and  the "bad" student does not.  I have had the experience of teaching survey courses in which -- despite repeated historical contextualization, references to allusions between, for example, Milton and Blake, etc. -- exams display students' lack of knowledge of historical context.

On a positive note: it was nice to see my students take up my challenge to "wow me" on the exam.  For the question that asked for Milton's birth and death date, some students actually wrote " December 9th 1608 at 6:30 a.m. - November 1674" or, in one case, "I cannot remember the death date but it was the same year that PL in twelve books was published."


Angelica Duran
Assistant Professor
English Department
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2048
(765) 496-3957, phone
(765) 494-3780, fax
<aduran at sla.purdue.edu>

> ----------
> From: 	milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu on behalf of Carrol Cox
> Reply To: 	John Milton Discussion List
> Sent: 	Monday, February 23, 2004 11:39 AM
> To: 	John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: 	Re: [Milton-L] teaching practices
> > LEEJACOBUS at aol.com wrote:
> > 
> > Regarding the 1937 date I would remind us that in a Random House
> > series of anthologies on 17th century literature, the very same error
> > was made by a very prominent scholar in dating John Donne.  And it was
> > made in an early page.  These things do happen.  Lee J.
> > 
> I don't quite see why it is even a question. It should simply be taken
> for granted that the student knows the century, and not even mentioned,
> let alone penalized. I suspect that it happens many times on exams and
> the instructor doesn't even notice it her/himself.
> This sort of things contributes to what Northrop Frye called the
> reputation of English teachers as being professional scolds.
> Carrol
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