ERIC Number: ED344226
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-14
Reference Count: N/A
The Appreciation Gap: Examining Student Attitudes to Classroom Literature.
Broersma, David H.
A teacher's search for a coherent explanation for the resistance of students to high school literature programs, vitally important since student attitudes influence learning, resulted in a discovery of both external and internal causal factors. Externally, an increasing emphasis on competency testing hinders the fostering of lifelong literacy. Poor textbook selection often contributes to a lack of enthusiasm among students. Ineffective teaching methods, especially those focusing on what Louise Rosenblatt has called "efferent" as opposed to "aesthetic" response, deny students a vital relationship with literature. Often the reading has little or no relevance for young adults. Internally, students may have negative attitudes toward literature resulting from unmet personal needs or emotional problems. Students also bring differing levels of ability to a reading, and sometimes they lack meaningful background information for a text. Central to the task of teaching literature should always be a desire to infect young people with an appreciation of literature. Despite the failure of high schools to foster such an appreciation, most teachers continue to teach literature in the same way. If students are to start enjoying literature, teachers must give them the chance to build their own reservoirs of literary experience; teachers must broaden their own understanding of what it means to appreciate literature; and classroom discussion must be relevant to students' needs and desires. Finally, teachers must utilize theoretically sound approaches to literature instruction. (Thirty-three footnotes are included.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aesthetic Reading; Educational Issues; Reading Motivation; Text Factors