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ERIC Number: ED182750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Why Teach Literature?
Hansen, Desna Wallin
Literature, one of the fine arts requiring imagination both from the writer and from the reader, can be read for relaxation, for escape, or for its diversionary effect. Literature can be read also for stimulation, for challenge, or as an antidote to boredom and shallow thinking. Teachers of literature must convince three basic groups of the value of teaching literature in an age that views it as being irrelevant and a frill: students, administrators, and the community. Students can be convinced of the worth of literature if they see it as relevant to their lives and concerns. One way to build their interest is to build on students' interests using contemporary books on a theme such as heroism, masculinity, love, or courage and then explore more unfamiliar and more challenging literature on the same theme. Administrators can be convinced of the value of teaching literature by seeing a program that builds a favorable reputation for the school or the district. Many members of the community are demanding statistical validity as the justification for the existence of a program or a discipline as they call for minimum competency testing. Demonstrating the value of teaching literature as means of improving reading, comprehension, and writing skills can persuade community members to support the existence of a literature program. (TJ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (69th, San Francisco, CA, November 22-24, 1979)