154 pages | 5 B/W Illus.
Taking a close look at the forces that affect English education in schools—at the ways literature, cognitive science, the privileging of the STEM disciplines, and current educational policies are connected—this timely book counters with a strong argument for the importance of continuing to teach literature in middle and secondary classrooms. The case is made through critical examination of the ongoing "culture wars" between the humanities and the sciences, recent research in cognitive literary studies demonstrating the power of narrative reading, and an analysis of educational trends that have marginalized literature teaching in the U.S., including standards-based and scripted curricula. The book is distinctive in presenting both a synthesis of arguments for literary study in the middle and high school and sample lesson plans from practicing teachers exemplifying how literature can positively influence adolescents’ intellectual, emotional, and social selves.
Foreword Michael Moore
1 Introduction: The Need to Make the Case for Teaching Literature
Part I: What Literature Can Do
Part II: Challenges to Literary Study
Part III: Reviving the Secondary School Literary Experience
Appendix A: Additional sample lessons and activities for teaching literature to encourage identification, empathy, critical thinking and social action
Appendix B: Additional, related sample activities
About the Contributors