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ERIC Number: EJ1115449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
"Teach Me How to Work and Keep Me Kind": A Meditation on Literature in High School
Riener, Joseph F.
American Educator, v40 n3 p29-31, 44 Fall 2016
A liberal arts education can teach young people the habits of mind to enable them to thoughtfully consider how they want to spend their lives. It can also establish the connection between one's self and others, what we call empathy. With insight and understanding, the liberal arts can teach students that education is a matter of the head and the heart, of work and kindness. Literature aids the journey to compassion. In this article, the author describes how he used poems, short stories, novels, and plays to expose students in his AP English classes to a variety of ideas, issues, and feelings. He wanted them to ponder the complexity of human emotion and what constitutes a good life. The work his students undertook in his classroom, the important conversations they had with him and with each other, illustrates the possibilities and benefits of a liberal arts education.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A