Free to Read: The Joys of Christian Discernment
Instructor: Dr. Deanna Smid
Venue: Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College
Dates: Thursday February 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2013 [7:30-9:30 PM]
Cost: $ 40.00 – Payable at the first session (Feb. 7)
Of particular interest to parents, teachers, librarians, and all those who revel in reading, this brief seminar series highlights the value of literature for Christian readers. Good literature instructs, delights, surprises, and reforms. But are all texts created equal? Are they all profitable for personal edification, for in-class novel study, or for inclusion in a church or school library? In answer, each of the sessions debates particular means of discernment through the lens of five well-known novels: Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Brave New World, The Hunger Games, and Twilight.
By reading, analyzing, and discussing the relative usefulness (even necessity) of such texts, the course will provide tools to answer the question, “What then shall we read?”
Feb. 7, 2013 Session 1 – The Matter that you Read: In this session, we will consider what it means to read on behalf of others, particularly children or students. How and why do adults read children’s literature? We will also lay the groundwork for further sessions by creating a common terminology for reading discernment. Required reading: William Golding, The Lord of the Flies.
Feb. 14, 2013 Session 2 – Words, Words, Words: Many of us are accustomed to evaluating a novel based on what it says. This session will emphasize, instead, the value of how a book says what it says. For a novel to be useful to Christian readers, it must be full of literary beauty, and thus we will consider how to recognize and respond to such beauty. Required reading: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Feb. 21, 2013 Session 3 – Study What you Most Affect: Novels have various roles in our lives: some we purchase (or borrow) and read privately, some we recommend to others, some we put in a church or school library, and others we read or teach in the classroom. This session examines which texts are particularly suited for novel studies in Christian schools, and how they might be taught most effectively. Required reading: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.
Feb. 28, 2013 Session 4 – To Read or not to Read? Discussions about reading discernment are very important in any Christian community, but the discussions must also lead to decisions. Individual readers (as well as parents and teachers) must decide whether or not to read a novel or to fling it aside. In this session we will begin to formalize such decisions by working together to draft a Christian school library book recommendation form. Required reading: Stephenie Meyer, Twilight.
I'm signed up for this Seminar at the Teacher's College this month. I'll keep you posted after each session as this topic applies to us too. Should be super interesting!
Anyone else going, too?