ERIC Number: ED333425
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Alternatives to the Anthology: Rethinking an Introductory Literature Course.
A college educator (trained in composition) encountered some problems when he began teaching an introductory literature course. In the first year of the course, he used a fiction anthology as his textbook. The class examined one story at a time, and attempts to compare readings seemed forced. The teacher realized that anthologies are narrow in scope, including few women writers, African-American writers, experimental writers, etc., and usually only contain one or two pieces by each author. Eventually, the instructor began to use single author collections. While students could then explore fewer cultures and historical periods, they could examine each author more deeply and with more context. Using stories that were less familiar than those commonly found in anthologies allowed the teacher to imagine student questions more easily and to have more meaningful dialogue with students. The reading of single-author collections enabled students to make connections between works of the same author. Students also become more able to describe relationships between authors. If educators want students to continue reading, more interesting, challenging, and vital issues of literary study must be introduced. Teachers must reconsider the kinds of texts that are typically used in introductory literature courses. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aesthetic Reading
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Spring Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (Indianapolis, IN, March 14-16, 1991).