ERIC Number: ED245233
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
Literature and the Making of Meaning.
Duke, Charles R.
Teachers should be making every effort to use approaches for teaching literature that encourage students to discover the meaning of a text for themselves, using the language of the text and without unnecessary teacher intervention. Therefore, rather than having the students be led by the teacher/interpreter through a work they encounter the first time, they should become actively engaged by knowing that they are going to have to explain their reading to others who have read the same text but may not have seen the same things. Starting with the so-called "gut" reaction, which contains many bits and pieces from which meaning can gradually emerge, students can be encouraged to keep journals to record their responses along general guidelines or question sets. Journal entries then can be used to generate discussion in class or used in later essays as the nuclei of key ideas. After they become comfortable with the initial observations and reactions recorded in the journal, students should be encouraged to read a work closely and make observations about what they discover. Oral reading of both poetry and prose can show students that slow reading will help them learn and interpret the language of the text, and that personal observation will also help them range over the text in a nonlinear fashion. Such a process of making meaning takes time, but to enable students to uncover the possibility for enjoyment of reading and the importance of making meaning for themselves from their reading, is worth the risk and effort. (CRH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A