ERIC Number: ED315753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Teaching of Literature in Programs with Reputations for Excellence in English. Report Series 1.1.
Applebee, Arthur N.
A study was designed to provide an initial context for framing the most pressing questions in the teaching of literature. To do this, the teaching of English in the high school classrooms of teachers whose departments were considered excellent by other professionals in education was examined. The issues that emerged in the programs with reputations for excellence should help to define how well current theory and practice in the teaching of literature work, as well as areas that may need further development. The study involved 17 schools in diverse communities throughout the United States. In addition to monitoring classes at each school, the observers interviewed teachers, librarians, and department heads, and collected completed questionnaires from each of these groups. Results suggest that the emphasis on literature instruction has remained relatively constant since the middle 1960s in programs with reputations for excellence in English. Fifty-two percent of the class time observed was devoted to literature. The emphasis on writing instruction has increased, with instruction now focused on literature 75% of the time. The data gathered serve to highlight a series of important issues that arise in schools where the teachers and the department as a whole have given careful thought and attention to what and how they teach. Four issues which emerged represent the growing edges of current theory and practice; they concern the need to: (1) provide institutional support for literature programs; (2) revitalize literature instruction for nonacademic students; (3) reconcile approaches to literature with approaches to writing; and (4) develop a theory of learning/teaching literature that will guide the rethinking of high school instruction. (Twenty-two tables of data are included.) (MG)
Descriptors: Class Activities, Classroom Observation Techniques, Educational Development, Educational Improvement, Educational Research, English Curriculum, English Instruction, High Schools, Interviews, Language Arts, Language Teachers, Literature Appreciation, Reading Writing Relationship, Theory Practice Relationship
Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature, School of Education, 1400 Washington Ave., ED B-9, University of Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222 ($6.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature, Albany, NY.