What does it mean to teach Shakespeare with purpose? It means freeing teachers from the notion that teaching Shakespeare means teaching everything, or teaching “Western Civilisation” and universal themes. Instead, this invigorating new book equips teachers to enable student-centred discovery of these complex texts.
Because Shakespeare's plays are excellent vehicles for many topics -history, socio-cultural norms and mores, vocabulary, rhetoric, literary tropes and terminology, performance history, performance strategies - it is tempting to teach his plays as though they are good for teaching everything. This lens-free approach, however, often centres the classroom on the teacher as the expert and renders Shakespeare's plays as fixed, determined, and dead. Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose shows teachers how to approach Shakespeare's works as vehicles for collaborative exploration, to develop intentional frames for discovery, and to release the texts from over-determined interpretations. In other words, this book presents how to teach Shakespeare's plays as living, breathing, and evolving texts.
Chapter One: Introduction: The Realities of the 21st Century
Chapter Two: Finding Your Purpose and Putting It into Action: Framing
Chapter Three: 'Ancient English': Shakespeare's Language
Chapter Four: Embodiment: What Is It (Not)?
Chapter Five: History: What Time Are You Thinking About?
Chapter Six: Writing Assignments with a Purpose
Chapter Seven: Assessment with a Purpose
Chapter Eight: The Tyranny of Resources