Challenge: How will Mr. Mitchell determine whether students can practice what they have learned from Othello, a play by William Shakespeare?

“If it isn’t used, it isn’t learned” – Alexander Luria

Mr. Mitchell is working with his sophomore students to help them identify the theme in the play, Othello, by William Shakespeare. He has decided that he will move the class systematically through the goals of instruction in literature. As an old school teacher of literature, (although quite young himself) he believes that the primary goal of literature should be to stimulate and train critical thinking skills and help students see the universal aspects of human nature and behavior. His class is a heterogeneous mix of students who read beyond grade level (46%), students at grade level (17%), and students below (37%).

The students are African-American (33%), Hispanic (31%), European-Portuguese (21%), and Native-American (15%).

The goals related to his primary goal include:

  1. To understand the work in depth
  2. To respond to it both affectively and evaluatively
  3. To use critical skill in reading the text

This is part of an ongoing series we are featuring on Mr. Mitchell as we follow his literature class and how he is deploying a scientific learning process to learning Shakespeare. To read the entire series, be sure to visit some of the other posts we have done as well.

Adapted from “Using a Holistic Approach to Improve Student Achievement and Personal Development” Case Studies, Edward Joyner, Sacred Heart University

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