You are on page 1of 1


ENGLIT 2500 - 1100

Dr. Elizabeth Rodriguez Fielder Dr. Ben Miller

Syllabus or Course Proposal

Whether you plan to teach within the academy or outside of it, in higher education or K12, you will
likely find yourself needing to plan a longer pedagogical arc than a single lesson or assignment. Bean
offers strategies for working backwards from learning goals to formal assignments to informal
scaffolding exercises, and these integrated sequences can form the backbone of anything from a
college course to a series of community workshops to a set of principles and linked texts, designed
more to make an argument in the public sphere than to be taught in a classroom.

For this assignment, you’ll prepare a document outlining a course for one of two audiences:
Option 1: students / participants, to be distributed in or before a first class meeting
Option 2: administrators / funders, to secure the approval of a new course

Whichever audience you choose, your task is to connect the overarching goals of the course
with the structure and sequence of major assignments within it. Somewhere in your document,
you should address the following questions:
 What is the course, in brief (50-100 words)? (You may wish to write or revise this summary
statement after working through the rest of the document.)
 Who do you expect to enroll? e.g. Parents of young children? Homeless veterans? First-year
undergrads? Juniors and seniors? Grad students? In the major, or not? Which major? 19
people or 50 or…? (This question is especially pertinent to new course proposals, but will
likely shape a syllabus for an existing course as well.)
 What are the big goals of the course that you can work backwards from (cf. Bean 244, 260)?
 What are the major assignments or divisions of the course?
 What will students do in the class? What will you do, as the teacher?
 With what texts, people, or movements will your course engage?

Optionally, you may wish to add some of the following:

 A framing document – a letter, a contextualizing history, etc – that students would encounter
early on in the course
 A more detailed schedule of assignments
 Ground rules, understandings, or shared vocabulary
 Pointers to related resources that you will not assign directly

The format of your syllabus or proposal should reflect your chosen audience, but is otherwise
flexible: digital formats, images, and hyperlinks are welcome, as are more traditional print- or text-
based documents.

Finally, note that this syllabus need not be for Seminar in Composition, nor need it be the same
course in which the formal assignment you've been working on appears. Consider your brainstorm
from the first day, of courses-you-can-teach. We want this to be useful for you.