Immeasurable Outcomes: Teaching Shakespeare in the Age of the Algorithm Spiral-Bound | January 17, 2023

Gayle Greene

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What is the purpose of education? The answer might be found in a Shakespeare class at a small liberal arts college.

In this engaging account of teaching a Shakespeare class at a small liberal arts college, Gayle Greene illustrates what is so vital and urgent about the humanities. Follow along with Greene as she introduces us to her students and showcases their strengths, needs, and vulnerabilities, so we can experience the magic of her classroom. In Immeasurable Outcomes, Greene's class builds a complex human ecosystem that pushes students to think more deeply and discover their own interests and potential, all while recognizing the inherent dignity in other people's views and values.

Grounding her analyses in half a century of teaching, Greene pushes back against the demand for measurable student learning outcomes and the standardization imposed on K-12 schools in the name of reform. Instead, she draws her conclusions about education directly from the students themselves. Alumni testimonials describe the transformative power of a liberal arts education, recounting how their experience of community and engagement has provided them the tools to navigate the uncertainties of a rapidly changing world while also inspiring the social awareness our democracy depends on.

Immeasurable Outcomes rejects claims that the liberal arts are impractical, exposing the political agendas of technocrats and ideologues who would transform higher education into vocational training and programs focused only on profitability. Greene reminds us that the liberal arts have been the basis for the most successful educational system in the world and provides a powerful demonstration that education at a human scale that is relationship-rich and humanities-based should be the model for education in the future.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1421444607
Item Weight: 1.5 lbs
Dimensions: 6.0 x 1.2 x 9.0 inches
Customer Reviews: No Rating out of 5 stars Up to 30 ratings
Greene's book is fun.The point of Greene's performances and those of her students is not to present a final view of any of Shakespeare's characters, still less of his plays. Rather, it is to show what jargon-laden course outlines cannot encompass. It is to show that over the course of a semester, students who are willing to follow a trained, dedicated teacher develop finely tuned reading skills and link what they read to their lives.
University World News
Gayle Greene is a professor emerita at Scripps College. She is the author of books on Shakespeare, women writers, and feminist criticism. Her memoirs include Missing Persons: A Memoir and Insomniac.