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IEW Teaching the Classics/Windows to the World

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I was planning on using Windows to the World with my 9th grader this year. But I was wondering if we should do Teaching the Classics before WTTW. I see in the course description that TTC is more of a teach the teacher course, but I would have my dd watch the instructional videos with me. I am looking for some feedback from those that have used these programs Thanks for any advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have not used Teaching the Classics, but my understanding is that the goal of the program is (as you say) to "teach the teacher" how to teach their students to analyze literature mainly through the socratic method of questions. The program is general, so as to be able to be applied to any type of literature. The program is a resource for parents, though could easily be viewed alongside with students.


I suppose you could count the time that the student views the lectures towards a literature credit, but be aware that a high school literature involves not only learning about literary analysis, but largely putting it into practice through in class discussion and writing literature response paragraphs, literary analysis essays, etc. In addition, because TtC is meant as a general resource, it does not have specific assignments, exercises or a schedule.



We have used Windows to the World, which is a program with a very different goal -- that of teaching the student to annotate (make personal notes/comments in the margins of the literature), and to then use those annotations to see repetitions, themes, symbolism and other literary elements with the purpose of using the things seen in the work as specific examples in writing a literary analysis essay. WttW does not teach literary analysis or literary elements, but rather assumes the student has some prior knowledge in those areas. In addition to focusing on annotation, WttW has the goal of instructing the student -- with very clear, specific examples and teaching -- how to write a literary analysis.


WttW covers 6 short stories, plus excerpts or other short works used in the exercises. WttW is designed to be used as a 1 semester high school literature course -- or, by adding a few novels and a unit on poetry, as the literature portion of a high school English credit. The TM has a schedule, teaching tips and activities, etc. The student book has exercises, assignments and teaching text.



In the 3 years prior to using WttW, our DSs had done the full-year literature programs of: LL7, LL8 and LLftLotR, plus a number of lit. guides on individual works, plus we had gone through the literary element resource books of Figuratively Speaking and Walch's Prose and Poetry. So DSc had a very firm grasp on literary elements and how to analyze literature, and since my background is in both criticism & analysis of both film and literature, I didn't feel we needed TtC. If your DC have had some sort of literature program in middle school, or if you've discussed/analyzed literature together with lit. guides, I don't know as though you will *need* TtC...


Hope that helps! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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JIll Pike at the IEW forums has posted a syllabus for covering Teaching the Classics and Windows to the World, along with a few novels for a year long study. It's shareware; you can download and look for free. If you end up using it, you pay $5 to the author.


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