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ERIC Number: ED022765
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Literature: Some Honest Doubts.
Rutledge, Donald G.
A Publication of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English, v1 n1 p19-22 Summer 1968
The possibility that many English teachers take their subject too seriously should be considered. The assumption that literature can to any degree either improve or adversely affect students is doubtful, but the exclusive study of "great literature" in our secondary schools may invite basic reflections too early: a year's steady diet of "King Lear,""Heart of Darkness," and "Lord of the Flies" may turn a student away from literature toward more optimistic pursuits. The stressing of form, techniques, and literary merit before such considerations matter to the student may also remove his delight in literature. To counteract these tendencies, study should not be restricted to great literature; instead, it should include books which speak to the child and, while offering him stimulation, do not force him beyond his present capabilities: most children, like adults, read to satisfy fantasy needs. Because the arts seem one of the chances for overcoming the universal boredom and violence which menace Western society, literature must be made a more natural part of more people's lives, and any distortion of the natural growth of artistic perception through misguided literature teaching should be avoided. (LH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A