Teaching Science Fiction in High School Classes

developed by Paul Brians

Note: this course is no longer being offered. The syllabus is being made available for people who may want ideas about how to teach such a course.

Course Information

    Course Overview

    Note: This is a preliminary syllabus provided to help potential students get an idea of the course ahead of time. Changes may be made before the course actually begins. Because this is a compressed course taught in half the usual time, and is offered at the graduate level, students should expect to set aside adequate time to do the work. Considering it as approximately the equivalent of a half-time job should be adequate. Because it is a discussion course, students are responsible for setting aside the time to work on it consistently. This is not a "flex-time" course which can be done at leisure.

    Although the general public thinks of science fiction (SF) primarily as a phenomenon of escapist movies and television shows, there is also a large body of fine written SF which qualifies as good literature by any standard. This course seeks to familiarize students with written SF as literature rather than as a pop culture phenomenon. Students will learn the history of written SF, study specific major works (both novels and short stories), and become acquainted with literary criticism in the field.


    When you have completed this course, you will be able to:
    • identify outstanding authors and works which may be recommended to students, encouraging them to explore beyond Star Wars novels and other pop series
    • locate scholarly sources to support the study of works of SF
    • design and create materials to help students understand works of SF

Course Work and Grading