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ERIC Number: ED015945
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
READING, WRITING, REALITY, UNREALITY.
DEMOTT, BENJAMIN
THOUGH MANY ENGLISH TEACHERS SPEAK OF THE RELEVANCE OF LITERATURE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER, IMAGINATION, AND RESPONSIVENESS TO LIFE, THEY TEACH AS IF THE GOAL OF ENGLISH STUDY IS TO KNOW LISTS OF AUTHORS, DATES, HOW TO SPELL, ETC., AND AS IF STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM LECTURES ON ARCANE LITERARY HIERARCHIES OR ANALYSES OF STRUCTURAL DESIGNS TAUGHT WITH NO AIM OF EFFECTING A RETURN TO AN EXPERIENCE. DISCUSSIONS AMONG 50 PROFESSORS OF ENGLISH WHO MET AT DARTMOUTH IN THE SUMMER OF 1966 AT THE ANGLO-AMERICAN SEMINAR ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ENGLISH INDICATE THAT EVEN AMONG ACCOMPLISHED MEMBERS OF THE PROFESSION THERE ARE MANY WHO FORGET THE PURPOSE OF ENGLISH. IN ONE DISCUSSION OF HOW TO TEACH A POEM, THESE TEACHERS NEVER CONSIDERED THE USES OF THE POEM, HOW TO PLACE IT IN THE CLASSROOM, OR HOW TO SET UP VITAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE STUDENT AND THE LINES OF POETRY. BEFORE TEACHING A POEM, FOR EXAMPLE, THE TEACHER SHOULD FIRST INTRODUCE THE STUDENTS TO IDEAS AND SITUATIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THE POEM HE IS GOING TO TEACH. HE SHOULD TREAT THE POEM AS A THIRD VOICE IN THE ROOM--THE OTHER VOICES ARE HIS AND THE STUDENTS'. HIS OBLIGATION AS A GOOD TEACHER OF WRITING IS TO MOVE THE STUDENT CLOSER TO THE THING, AND TO FIND THE TALK THAT WILL CREATE A SUBJECT FOR THE STUDENT, A NEED FOR UTTERANCE, AND AN EAGERNESS TO NAME A TRUTH BEYOND THE TRUTH BEGUN WITH. THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN "EDUCATIONAL RECORD," VOLUME 48, NUMBER 3, SUMMER 1967, PAGES 197-205. (BN)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Dartmouth College NH