Chapter 10: Tinker-Centric Pedagogy in Literature and Language Classrooms

Reviewed by Nate Thesing

In the final chapter of the book, Jentery Sayers suggested that a tinker-centric pedagogy, which focuses on "inexpert, tactical and situational experimentation" (p. 279), would be beneficial to implementing, understanding, and manipulating digital trends in the field of English studies. In making this claim, Sayers explored communal spaces and experimented with existing work and ways of collaboration to introduce tinkering into the humanities.

Sayers made a compelling argument for the allowance of tinkering among today's higher education community to explore how the ever-evolving field of digital media may be used to assist and advance English studies. Tinkering does not require students to become masters of the digital media they explore; rather it allows them to see how it can enhance, dictate, and change their field of discourse. Sayers showed how a tinker-centric pedagogy can free students' and teachers' minds from the idea that there is a right and a wrong way to approach digital media. Play, adaptability, collaboration, and shared spaces are consistently referenced to show tinkering as an engaging and powerful tool in learning new concepts and ideas.

Embedded within the text are numerous hyperlinks to videos and articles. Unlike some of the chapters in this collection, Sayers did not embed videos but instead linked to them, which, assuming readers have Internet access as they read, makes the videos easier to view than those that are simply embedded. He also included figures linked to assignment prompts, allowing the reader to see how they were used within his pedagogy. In addition to supporting his argument, the hyperlinks and figures provide strategies for readers to implement a similar approach. This chapter leaves room for important future discussions to help refine this pedagogy as a means to experiment in the classroom, in the disciplines, and in collaborative work.


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