ERIC Number: ED209672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Teaching the Language of Literature.
Harker, W. John
Schema theories have proposed that comprehension results from the activation of generalized knowledge structures, called schemata, stored in memory. These schemata represent abstract conceptual models of reality that children construct in their minds on the basis of their experience in the world. Unfortunately the comprehension of literature places some rather special demands on the child. The world of literature is an imaginary place--the imaginative creation of the writer--and one where anything can happen and often does. In literature, imagination overturns reality and imposes a new reality which is instantiated through the language of literature. New schemata must be developed, new predictions made, and new hypotheses tested to accommodate the new realities encountered. From the interaction of the children's receptivity to the world of the imagination and the author's portrayal of this world, comprehension results. In this sense, children recreate the literature they read on the basis of the imaginative capacity they bring to reading. In schools educators must ensure that they do nothing to diminish this capacity. It is necessary for children to enter and inhabit the fanciful worlds of their literature, and to explore and delight in the inner complexity and imaginative potential of these worlds. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Author Reader Relationship; Schemata
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English (14th, Vancouver, Canada, May 11-16, 1981).