ERIC Number: ED222923
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Understanding the Storyteller's Art.
Curtis, William; Moir, Hughes
A sensitivity to both a story's content and art form can bring children to the understandings and feelings that are basic to the humane encounter that is education. Two approaches seem to dominate the use of stories in schools today. The first is the placement of literary selections in basal readers. However, the ways in which teachers are encouraged to use the stories and poems to teach phonics, sight words, and word attack and comprehension skills not only violate what is known about the reading process, but also ignore the intent of the literary work. The second approach to using literature involves its prominent but misplaced function as a classroom management technique. Too often this technique is used to quiet an exuberant class after recess or before the "real business" of school begins. A more powerful and beneficial alternative begins with respect for the veracity of children's highly individual responses to a strong story such as "The Fiddler of High Lonesome"--a literary tale rich in the form and feeling of a traditional story from the Appalachian Mountains. A few of the possible ways of organizing potential responses to this and other stories include regional study, social history, cultural or moral issues, and discussions of individuals in groups. Or, the actual evolution of a period of instruction might result in a set of relationships, anticipated or unexpected, that connects the topics of areas of studies. Both approaches share two fundamental premises: that the child's response is the beginning point for any instruction that may follow and that forcing a response to fit a predetermined focus excludes the learner and the story from the learning process. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the World Congress on Reading (9th, Dublin, Ireland, July 26-30, 1982).