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Barbara Magie

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Two things in particular struck me about this course: First, how fitting it is that ModPo should be one of the first courses offered through Coursera, given the way in which American poetry, and modern American poetry in particular, has welcomed immigrants and celebrated their lives & freedom, beginning with the "world-wide welcome" of Emma Lazarus' poem on the Statue of Liberty and Whitman's celebration of the people of New York. ModPo, in the same spirit, welcomes everyone. Second, I think ModPo demonstrates the art of teaching at its best i.e. prompting, showing (not telling) students how to be intellectually curious - to wonder, to ask questions, to seek & explore alternative answers/solutions/methods/etc., to be open to others, to question & listen to them, to discover the things that aren't already known & written down, to "wrestle with faith and doubt," as Elizabeth Samet put it in "Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point," with uncertainty & ambiguity in beliefs & values. Maybe a better way to put it: ModPo engages us in the process - the process of reading & writing poetry, of thinking, feeling & learning, the process of living the examined life. Other courses convey information and teach students to think critically & creatively, but ModPo takes learning to the next level, teaching the art of intellectual inquiry - teaching us to fish instead of just handing out fish! ModPo should be the poster child for MOOCs, and Al Filreis the model for teachers of the future!