ERIC Number: ED333468
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of High School Literature Anthologies. Report Series 1.5.
Applebee, Arthur N.
A study examined the content and approaches embodied in seven popular high school literature anthology series, grades 7 through 12. The seven series examined consisted of 42 volumes with 1989 copyrights, stratified by grade level and by series. All selections in all 42 volumes were analyzed to develop a portrait of the content of literature courses as represented by the popular anthology series. A subsample of 350 selections was chosen for detailed analysis. Results indicated that: (1) anthologies have narrowed their focus, presumably to place more emphasis on works of merit; (2) volumes for use in grades 7 through 10 broadened their selections to include a wider representation (though still very small) of works by women and of works from alternative literary traditions; (3) volumes intended for American or British literature courses remain quite narrow in their representation both of women and nonwhite authors; (4) the instructional apparatus that surrounds the anthology selections was overwhelmingly text and content centered, with little attention paid to the development of students' abilities to think on their own; and (5) there is little connection among the activities that accompany a given selection, indicating an assumption that students build understanding out of individual details, rather than from some cumulative understanding of an evolving text. Findings suggest that while many of the selections seem capable of promoting worthwhile discussion, the instructional apparatus that surrounds the selection does not. (Twenty-seven tables of data are included; 27 references and a list of the anthology series are appended, as well as lists of the most frequently anthologized poems, short fiction, and overall selections by grade level.) (RS)
Descriptors: Anthologies, Content Analysis, Critical Reading, English Literature, Literature Appreciation, Secondary Education, Secondary School Curriculum, Textbook Content, Textbook Research, United States Literature
Literature Center, University at Albany Ed b-9, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12222.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature, Albany, NY.
Identifiers: Aesthetic Reading