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The Journal Gazette

Monday, May 14, 2018 2:20 pm

A new view of Poe: IPFW profs partner at Carroll, Homestead

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Homestead High School teacher Jessica Holtzclaw listened Monday morning as her literature students dissected Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado."

Together, the class of mostly juniors discovered details that quick, non-analytical readers could easily miss. Holtzclaw, however, couldn't take credit for guiding them through the deeper reading – that belonged to IPFW American literature professor Eric Link.

"Poe is teaching us that we have to pay attention to the signs," Link said, guest lecturing at Homestead as part of the new Professors in Partnership program.

The collaborative teaching program teams IPFW professors with teachers at Northwest Allen's Carroll High School and Southwest Allen's Homestead High School to co-deliver engaging lessons for students. Purdue University Fort Wayne plans to expand the partnership as early as next year, with the addition of East Allen County Schools.

IPFW officially splits into Purdue Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne on July 1.

An idea brought forward by the university's deans, the program sparked "a lot of excitement and enthusiasm," Link said. He is also dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Along with educators learning from each other, professors learn about the high schools and students' preparation for college, Link said, and students experience college-level teaching.

At Homestead, more than a dozen teachers specializing in various subjects – including math, music and science – participated, Principal Park Ginder said.

Holtzclaw enjoyed Link's temporary classroom takeover, she said, adding she appreciated his insight.

"He's a wealth of information," she said, whispering as he began the day's lesson. "This is absolutely fascinating to get another view."

Link encouraged students to ponder the text they're reading, showing them through analysis that Poe's story is a deathbed confessional to a priest. He highlighted specific lines that deserve thought.

"You have to pause over a sentence like that," he said.

Homestead junior Brandon Wiggins enjoyed the guest lecture experience, calling it "really cool." He said Link taught him new ways to approach reading.

"I never thought about books that way," he said.

asloboda@jg.net