ERIC Number: ED265572
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Current Crisis in Literary Education.
Squire, James R.
Sharing the cultural heritage is not the only responsibility of literary education in the K-12 curriculum. Still, teachers' current lack of agreement on the kind of literary experience important to young people, coupled with the failure of all but one of the major national school reform reports to mention literature as important to achieving a quality education, signals a present dilemma. While waiting for a redefinition of literacy, educators can consider the ramifications of four basic issues that must be resolved in K-12 program in literary education: (1) a teacher's concern about the transaction between book and reader must not blind him or her to the recognition that the quality of the literary work affects the quality of the literary experience; (2) programs in literature must provide young people with selected major literary experiences if Americans are to develop a common culture; (3) understanding and appreciating major literary works is dependent on developing the background knowledge and experience needed for understanding; and (4) educators must reexamine the traditional and contemporary canon of major literary works and identify those that speak most persuasively to young people. These four issues long for clarification and resolution. Teachers of literature and specialists in the literary transaction need to join current efforts to seek quality in the English curriculum by reexamining the content of programs as well as the methods used to teach. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (75th, Philadelphia, PA, November 22-27, 1985).