English R1B

Reading and Composition: School Stories

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Spring 2015 Browning, Catherine Cronquist
TTh 2-3:30 225 Wheeler

Book List

Brontë, C.: Jane Eyre; Dickens, C.: David Copperfield; Edgeworth, M.: Practical Education; Hughes, T.: Tom Brown's Schooldays; Newman, J. H.: Idea of a University


This course will survey the educational principles and strategies common in nineteenth-century Britain and the depiction of domestic and institutional education in contemporary novels. We will examine the influential educational theories of the period, with particular attention to the work of Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth and the continuing legacy of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. With this framework, we will explore the educational experiences of boys and girls of the upper, middle, and lower classes, and the training, or lack of training, of their teachers. The course will also address Victorian developments in higher education, including the growing emphasis on liberal education.

As part of the university’s Reading and Composition requirement, this course develops reading, writing, and research skills that are applicable across the curriculum. We will focus on how to find, evaluate, and make effective use of research tools and resources for analytic writing. The primary writing assignments for the course will be three progressively longer papers combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources. Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work and feedback at the prewriting and draft stages of composition. 

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