ERIC Number: ED036667
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1954
Reference Count: 0
Literature and Social Sensitivity.
Focusing on the responses of adolescents to literature "involving values based on the concept of human dignity," this study examined two groups of adolescents (60 students each) in grades 8-12. The two groups represented extremes of social sensitivity: highly sensitive and least sensitive to the feelings of others. Teachers read aloud 10 short stories to which the students responded by writing an undirected response and by completing a questionnaire, a check list, and a special scale. Analysis of the students' responses revealed that adolescents tended to notice only the most obvious points of a story and to express superficial concepts; they did not welcome new values or concepts. Although the highly sensitive adolescents wrote more full responses, most students had difficulty in expressing significant opinions about literature. Other data suggested that sex and socioeconomic status affected sensitivity but intelligence did not, and that the least sensitive adolescents were more concerned with money, clothes, and themselves, and tended to resist more strongly the controls of society. (A concluding section draws on the findings to make practical suggestions for the teaching of literature.) (LK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.