Austen in the Classroom
Austen’s works have managed to stand up to and even benefit from being translated across cultures, time, and media form. There have been over 30 film and TV adaptations of her novels and juvenilia, more than half of which were released in the last 25 years, and Fanfiction.net maintains an archive of over 4,600 stories based on Pride and Prejudice written by community members. Many of these adaptations speak to the diverse populations drawn to Austen’s work. Recent novel adaptations of Pride and Prejudice are set in contemporary Muslim Toronto (Ayesha at Last, Uzma Jallaludin) and early 2000s Pakistan (Unmarriagable, Soniah Kamal).
Despite the boom of Janeite fan culture and adaptations over the last twenty years, Austen is being read less in high schools. Teachers who come to JASP often share their difficulties in convincing high schoolers to give Jane Austen and other historical writers a chance. JASP actively works to make Austen’s texts more accessible for the classroom. Our workshops and discussions accomplish this by generating ideas for critical discussion, lesson plans for historical context, learning through adaptations, and plans for multidisciplinary classroom activities. JASP+ gathers some of these materials, and in collaboration with the national Humanities Center, trains teachers to take advantage of digital tools.
The teachers who attend JASP offer their successes in teaching these texts and later transfer new strategies and lessons to their students. These pedagogical strategies are not just limited to teaching Austen but can transfer to a wide variety of texts and subjects. While the pedagogical aspects of our program are also tailored to fulfill particular state educational standards within North Carolina, teachers from other states often can easily adapt them for their own local requirements as well.
I'M AN ORIGINAL CATCHPHRASE
What Teachers Are Saying
“The chance to meet, connect with and learn from other teachers is the biggest attraction for me, but I appreciate the new insight each year on a personal level as well.”