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ERIC Number: ED222916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Mythology at College Level.
Smith, Ron
There are three general approaches to organizing a basic mythology course: geographical, conceptual/thematic, or a combination of the two. The geographical approach offers a wealth of material organized by focusing on one or several of the world's mythologies and offers the opportunity to find out more about the influences on the development of Western thought. The conceptual or thematic approach stresses theory, introducing myth as a serious area of study. A paucity of texts and the need for more background knowledge, however, have made this approach much less popular than the geographical one. In a combination of the two approaches, conceptual and thematic concerns govern the day-to-day progress of teaching mythology, with students choosing a geographical area of specialization. Whatever approach is used, the objectives of the course must be carefully chosen. Before mastery of given particular mythologies, the students should understand (1) what is and what is not myth, (2) the many purposes and functions of myth, (3) the theories of how myths originate and are shaped, (4) why and in what ways people believe the myths of their culture or group, (5) how myths have been analyzed or interpreted over the centuries, and (6) the connections between oral or written narratives and the visual expression of a culture or group. (JL)
Publication Type: 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 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (Salt Lake City, UT, October 21-23, 1982).