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Teaching the How: Three Ways to Support Failure

I give students in my literature courses a lot of weird assignments: I have them make and post films about why people should read Dickens. I tell them these films should show careful analysis of the text but should also entertain and have good music so that viewers won’t get bored. I ask students in my gen ed capstone to create campaigns advocating for the liberal arts. I make my creative writing students create a job portfolio unrelated to their professional aspirations as writers. They object: They want to write stories. Why in the world should they articulate a set of conceptual skills they’d bring to a State Department position?

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