ERIC Number: ED359515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Revaluation of Reader Response and School Literature. Report Series 1.8.
Purves, Alan C.
This paper reconsiders the nature of literature as a school subject. Musing on three anomalies that occur when language arts teachers consider their professions about school literature and what occurs in literature classrooms: (1) the anomaly of the text and the textbook; (2) the anomaly of the idolatry of naive readers whose heads have been "stuffed"; and (3) the anomalous role of the writer in literature and writing programs, the paper contends that these anomalies only serve to trivialize literature in schools. Exploring the nature of the "rules of the game" of school literature in the United States, the paper argues that school literature programs must treat literary texts as works of art and that literature programs need to be integrated into a broader context of the language arts. The paper questions the role of literature and literature education in American society and asserts that such a resource should serve as the cornerstone of education in a democratic society. The paper concludes that students must be helped to connect the way they read to the way they write, to develop a sense of pleasure in the medium of language and in the exploration of the culture of the writer and of the community of readers in the classroom. (Contains 19 references.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
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.