ERIC Number: ED169529
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Text and Context in the Teaching of Literature.
Mandel, Barrett J.
Three "deep structures" of the literary curriculum (contexts within which teachers teach literature) have been identified: (1) the imitative structure, in which students learn about the background of the text, (2) the analytic structure, and (3) the generative approach, dealing with a work's effect on readers. While experienced literary critics and teachers can experience a piece of writing fully and then place it into a clarifying context, in class the obvious truth that the literature must be truly experienced first is often ignored; instead students "study literature" and learn the professor's contextual approach. A fourth deep structure or context, designed to help students recreate for themselves the communication of the author, may be called the experiential context. In using this context, one instructor has made two pedagogical decisions: he encourages students to outlaw all qualitative judgments and expressions of emotional reaction with respect to literary works and to each other's comments; and he teaches nothing about the literature. These methods avoid the creation of a dominant view in the classroom; rather, they exclude everything but the experience of the literature itself, permitting students to rediscover their own power to see what authors say. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of America (93rd, New York City, December 27-30, 1978)