ERIC Number: ED353584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Breaking the Mold of Literature Instruction: Recent Findings from the National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning.
The close scrutiny of literature study and how literature is currently taught and learned reveals major findings in four crucial areas of educational concern: critical thinking, cultural diversity, assessment of achievement, and at-risk students. Currently, literature instruction is focused on information retrieval, and remains unconcerned with critical thinking skills. However, students must be taught how to foster literary understanding and interpretation, and numerous methods of attaining such interpretive and critical skills can aid the teacher in doing this. Concerning cultural diversity, currently literature instruction is largely monolithic and traditional. Essentially, there is no need to return to a traditional canon, since literary instruction has never left the tradition. Thus, the canon still needs to be broadened at the elementary and secondary levels. One promising technique is to tap the low-art world of mass culture and media, the main cultural world of today's youth. Concerning testing and assessment, findings indicate that teachers remain fact-centered. Various models of assessment, including portfolios, are promising. Finally, at-risk students afford special concerns, but various studies suggest strong implications for improving instruction for these students. In sum, these studies indicate the great need to reinvigorate literature instruction at all levels. (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.