ERIC Number: ED356472
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Building Bridges between Literary Theory and the Teaching of Literature. Report Series 5.6.
A professional development model for teachers of literature (K-13) was conceived in the context of the current disjunctions between literary theory and pedagogical practices in the teaching of literature on the one hand, and a different set of disjunctions between teaching practices in literature and in composition on the other. Recent developments in Postmodernist or Poststructuralist theory have challenged and puzzled almost two generations of teachers schooled under the old New Critical paradigm. The development of the model was begun when a community of experienced English and language arts teachers representing all grades from elementary school through college collaborated through a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored Literature Institute for Teachers to study a number of difficult literary texts. The institute demonstrated how powerfully the fundamental pedagogical principles that inform practice in writing programs apply to the teaching of literature. The participants were placed into reading groups as a means of resolving certain social and hermeneutical crises. Through techniques of believing and doubting, the competitive dynamics of argument were replaced by a dynamic of collaboration. Attempts were made to expand the repertoire of reading and teaching practices of the participants, especially those classified under the heading of re-reading practices. Many other reading strategies were fostered among the teachers, such as ways of problematizing a reading, ways of fostering collaboration, and methods of building fluency for students. In short, the Institute demonstrated how contemporary theory can transform literature teaching practices in many compelling and useful ways. (Contains 42 references.) (HB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
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.