The following is the survey the Center for Liberal Arts sent to K-12 teachers nationwide during the summer of 2019.
Q1 We are at the early planning stages of developing a teacher resource called Teaching Hard Literature, which would be a complement to the Teaching Hard History framework and resources: https://www.tolerance.org/frameworks/teaching-hard-history/american-slavery. To help us to think about what such a resource should offer, we would like to learn about your relation to the kind of texts that seem to you to raise important “hard” issues but that you or others you know may be reluctant to teach.
Q2 What is your group # (in the message you received about this survey)? (1-50)
Q3 Are you a classroom teacher?
If you are a classroom teacher…
Q4 What subject(s) and grade level(s)?
If you are not a classroom teacher…
Q5 What is your role in relation to K-12 education?
Q6 In which state do you teach? All 50 states listed alphabetically, with an for international
Q7 Describe your school setting by noting the following: Public (1) Private (2)
Q8 Describe your school setting by noting the following: Urban (1) Rural (2) Suburban (3)
Q9 How many years have you been teaching? 1-3 years (1) 4-6 years (2) 7-10 years (3) More than 10 years (4) Q10 Do your students read and/or discuss short stories, poems, novels, plays, or other comparable works by any of the following populations?
If you wish, provide examples of the texts you use or would like to use, and indicate how frequently you teach them and in what contexts. Check all boxes that pertain to your classroom:
Q11 When you teach texts such as those mentioned above, what is your main instructional goal?
Q12 If you have a favorite lesson in relation to such a text, please describe it. What about this lesson do you enjoy or appreciate?
Q13 What might make you most reluctant to teach such texts?
Q14 Are there any specific kinds of supplemental materials or assignments relating to such texts that you’ve had good experiences with? Bad experiences with? If there is a handout, website, or other resource that you would be willing to tell us about, we would be grateful. If there is a kind of resource (website, podcast, film, etc) that would be especially helpful to you, we would like to know that too.
Q15 What kind of conversation-setting/listening strategies do you use to create an environment where students can discuss challenging content?
Q16 Does your experience with such texts bring you into collaboration with other teachers in your own subject or others? Yes (1) No (2)
Q17 Does cross-subject collaboration seem important to you for teaching such texts?
Q18 Do your students write about such texts? How do reading components (comprehension, analysis, interpretation) in relation to these challenging texts intersect with writing components (analytic, self-expressive) of your classroom?
Q19 What do you see as the place of older texts in the 21st century classroom, especially when those texts reflect the prejudices and preconceptions of earlier periods? Do you think that works that use offensive language or that depict populations in offensive ways should still be taught? Why or why not?
Q20 If you teach texts relating to historically disempowered populations, which of the following do you address? Check each box that applies.
Q21 Which of the topics above, or which other related topics, seem most important to you and/or most difficult to address?
Q22 How do you identify?
Q23 How would you describe your classroom’s ethnic and racial makeup?
Q24 Please choose one answer for each item. Strongly disagree (1) Disagree (2) Agree (3) Strongly Agree (4)
Q25 The chief obstacles to my teaching “hard literature,” (ie. literary texts relating to the issues we asked about in this survey) are:
Q26 What would help me most to teach “hard literature” would be:
Q28 Please provide any additional comments you would like to relating to these matters.