How to Talk about the Little Red Schoolhouse Curriculum on the Job Market

You may be surprised to learn that knowing the Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS) curriculum often matters more to literature people than to writing people. Here's why: if you're a writing person you need to know all the major pedagogies and their strengths and weaknesses. But no one expects a literature person to know them all. However, if you know one that's distinctive, and let's you mark your teaching, then your ability to teach writing is not a ticket you've punched, but a genuine advantage. In addition, LRS is more adaptable as a background for teaching literature than most other pedagogies. Be prepared to offer a two minute example of how an LRS activity improves students' ability to learn literature.

  **You've got to know what LRS is, where it came from, and what its reach is.

  **You've got to know what's special or distinctive about the LRS curriculum, like the following:

  **You've got to have a two minute explanation of LRS with an example of what it looks like. For example, if you want students to know x, then you teach them one of the following: nominalizations (characters & actions); introductions (fairytales); and point of view (for instance, the lesson handout that shows how judges changed their minds when presented with evidence from different points of view). You'll need to explain quickly how one of these lessons would play out.

If you're a graduate student in the English Department at the University of Virginia, you'll have wonderful preparation for the job market through the Placement Director. Click here for the website, and if you've forgotten the password, contact someone in the English Graduate Office.


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