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?