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Topic: Reading vs. literature
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William Schuth Jr.

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/6/04
Reading vs. literature
Posted: Jun 24, 1995 11:03 PM
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While catching up on the week's mail, I was surprised to see the direction
discussion went in response to the post I sent to Mike:

>> One of the maxims of teaching literature is that there is NO WAY you
>>can teach all of the literature a person needs to experience, so instead,
>>you must teach students how to encounter it instead.

>Yes, perhaps you teach them to read first. And with the advent of whole
>language and the demise of phonics, three out of four fourth graders can't
>read at grade level.

(The first paragraph I sheepishly admit is mine, and I apologize for the
redundancy; I didn't proof it before posting, because I wrote it long after
the hour I usually turn off this machine. The second paragraph is Dan's.)

My message was NOT intended to discuss the teaching of reading--I
specifically pointed to the teaching of LITERATURE (which can be in
written or other forms!) as a parallel experience to teaching the topic
Mike was discussing (which I can't for the life of me remember).

Regardless of how well developed the reading skills of one's students
are, it would not be possible to spend time on all of the significant works
in the human experience. For that reason, the literature teacher should:

1) provide students with experiences which prove to them that
literature is valuable and enjoyable.
2) teach students the skills necessary to successfully analyze
and criticize others' works.
3) give students the opportunity to attempt to generate and
experiment with various styles of writing.

Are these not similar to what a mathematics teacher should be doing?

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"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain . . . "

William Schuth Jr.

Rivendell West Math Department
416 Sumner GET Middle School
Trempealeau, WI 54661-0091 Trempealeau, WI 54661

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