ERIC Number: ED245228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
What Literature Should Adolescents Be Reading?
ASCD Curriculum Update, Apr 1984
Basic skills versus free reading for comprehension, classics versus contemporary novels, and ethnic literature versus a common core of literary culture are among the hotly debated arguments in teaching today. Even among educators and specialists in the field, there is no agreement. However, the National Council of Teachers of English Commission on Literature has surmised several trends in literature instruction. That classics are being taught contrasts with the notion that students need more current or popular works, and despite the persistent rumor that low-track readers are given substandard works, the general trend is toward giving them classics. In addition, teachers may be teaching children to dislike classic literature because they themselves have not been through adequate teacher preparation programs. It also appears that there is an overall decline in the exposure of students to literature at all levels, in part because fewer literary works and more nonfiction works are being published. A related trend is the increased emphasis being placed on the teaching of the sociological content rather than the aesthetic values of a work. Paradoxically, there is a decline in the use of world and ethnic literatures. Other trends include less use of trade books and more reliance on anthologies in schools, and the continued efforts of special interest groups to censor reading lists, textbooks, and library materials. (CRH)
Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Censorship, Curriculum Problems, English Curriculum, English Instruction, Literature Appreciation, Literature Reviews, Reading Material Selection, Reading Research, Secondary Education
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 225 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314 (25 copies, $6.00, 50, $10.00, 100 or more, $18.00 per 100).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A