Curriculum Conversation March 2017 2017-02-02T20:12:09+00:00

Project Description

William Golding’s tale of schoolboys cast away on a Pacific island after a nuclear attack has inspired dystopias as disparate as The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Ender’s Game, and Lost. Since the 1954 publication of The Lord of the Flies, this provocative story of children who, as Joyce Carol Oates put it, “replicate the worst of their elders’ heritage of ignorance, violence, and warfare” illustrates how quickly civility can revert to bloodthirsty savagery. The Lord of the Flies outlines the cruelties even “innocent” children will inflict when fear reigns. As one boy says: “Which is better—to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?” Such questions have spawned an industry of young-adult morality tales where child soldiers, child assassins, and child saviors battle it out for the survival of democracy—and of kindness, mercy, and love.

Why are such dark stories popular with young adults? How do they reflect the current views on politics, the economy, and the environment? What does The Lord of the Flies teach us about the roles young people can play in combating chaos, tyranny, and paranoia? This Curriculum Conversation will address these questions as we explore and grapple with a text that has engaged readers for generations.


Participants are asked to read The Lord of the Flies, Penguin Publishing Group Centenary Edition, before coming to the workshop.

IWT Curriculum Conversations foster innovative approaches to teaching and reading texts that contribute to our contemporary sense of an evolving self. Using writing-to- learn strategies, the day’s workshops focus on a rigorous reading of the text through the lens of contemporary and historical nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Fee: $350 for tuition, morning coffee, lunch, and materials. The early-bird workshop fee is $300; the deadline for early registration is February 10, 2017. For more information please contact the IWT office for registration (845) 758-7484.

IWT encourages teachers from the same school to participate by offering a 10 percent discount to schools sending a team of three or more teachers to any of the workshops.

Cancellation Policy: No refunds can be given for cancellations made later than a week before the event.

All workshops take place at Bard College on Friday, March 10, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check-in is from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

On March 20, 2009 IWT offered the first in a series of Curriculum Conversations on cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching canonical texts through diverse writing-to-learn practices. Although writing to learn and writing to read are by now familiar instructional strategies, their use in the classroom remains challenging, especially when applied to familiar texts in the secondary and college curriculum.