Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Notes on Teaching Self-Consciousness

The exchange about pedagogy I'm having with Laura, Eric, and kdotdammit -- with helpful commentary added by Steven, elizabeg, and cpratt -- inspires me to re-cite the first thing I ever wrote for public consumption as a grown-up.

"Notes on Teaching Self-Consciousness" was composed in the late summer of 1992 as Joe and Annalee were readying the first issue of Bad Subjects. I worked on it harder and longer than anything I'd ever written before.

I hope I'm not being presumptuous in saying that it bears on the present discussion.

The great irony, as I already noted in an entry from a few months back, is that I wrote the piece before I'd taught my first class.

The lesser irony is that I still stand by my words, over a decade later.

I should note, though, that, while I had never taught before, I had been reading about teaching -- everything from Maria Montessori to late-60s calls for revolutionizing the classroom to Henri Giroux's writings on "postmodern" education -- for months before writing the piece.

And I had, of course, been paying close attention to my teachers. Props to Al Van Thornout (ninth-grade history), Bob Weller (eleventh-grade humanities), Hajo Funke (numerous German Studies and conversation courses at Berkeley), Sue Schweik (English honors course), and, above all else, Julian Boyd (courses on philosophy of language and the structure of English).

[Another randomly selected favorite of mine. Go iTunes!]
Tags: clips, teaching

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