What would happen if we understood the workshop to be not tidy and orderly but large, unpredictable, and uncertain? What if long monologues about German metaphysics could sit right beside arguments from the stylebook of Flannery O’Connor? What if the worst story of the semester were subjected to a half hour of sentence-diagramming exercises? What if no one turned in a story for three weeks, and all you did was sit around talking about the ugliest kid you knew in childhood, or the worst job you ever had? What if all you did in class was assignments? What if you rewrote one sentence all semester? What if everyone got a chance to be the instructor, and everyone got a chance to be the student?
Rick Moody on the need for teaching (in this case, creative writing, but applicable (I think) to all humanities (and probably more disciplines but I don’t want to claim more than I have experience of)) to be a bit more creative/fluid in how it trains people to think.
Add ‘make them eat apples’ into the above paragraph and you’ve got my teaching manifesto.