. . . it rekindled in my mind an old debate I have with myself about teaching language arts . . .Now, don't judge a post by its excerpt. I would highly recommend you go read the entire post (as well as Doctorow's article) as there was no way I could excerpt it and do it justice unless I copied the whole thing. Terry does some really good thinking and takes some time to explore this idea further. I left a fairly long comment on the post, so I won't add any more here - you'll just have to head over there to check it out - and maybe leave a comment of your own.
All this got me thinking about the fact that most of our language arts classes center around literature in books. Traditionally, we require our students to read and pretend to appreciate stories and novels. Yet the novel, along with being an “invention,” as Doctorow suggests, is an art form. We don’t require all students to take art appreciation classes, or study music theory, or attend the ballet. But aren’t those forms as viable and important as literature? I tout novels as explorations of the human condition and windows into other eras and cultures…but don’t paintings and operas and films do that too? Is reading The Kite Runner any more enlightening than watching Babel?
. . . In the language arts area, it may be time to shift our paradigm from literature-centered classes to reading-centered classes . . .
I really only have one complaint with Terry's blogging - he doesn't do it frequently enough.