In TeachingLiterature to Adolescents, three important theories are introduced. First are the Transmission Theories, which are the traditional theories that “frame learning in terms of acquiring facts and knowledge about literature,” imparting knowledge to students being the primary focus. The problem with this theory is that “simply having knowledge about literature doesn’t mean that the student knows how to interpret literature.” The direct teaching approach also limits to one single way of teaching, students acquiring passive and dependent roles in the classroom.
Student-centered Theory is more of a hands-off approach, where “the students have the ability to make their own choices for what and how they learn.” The problem with this is obvious, the student is solely the one responsible for learning, and so success or failure is in their hands.
The final theory in this chapter is the Socio-Cultural Theory. This theory “emphasizes the importance of creating a social community that supports learning literature. Students then assume the identities of careful readers who acquire various practices involved in interpreting and producing literature.”
This chapter discusses the importance of literature and shares different teachers’ philosophies about the subject and explains why literature is important for adolescents.
For an overview, the first chapter of Critical Encounters in High School English discussed that it is important for teachers to teach their students through multiple perspectives and theories, and how this approach is lost by many, meaning students are gaining knowledge through only one simple and almost robotic point of view. I also think this is important, I believe that teachers should aspire to be motivating, up lifting, and teach using a multitude of eclectic perceptions so that we can help them to grow intellectually, culturally, and diversely throughout their most complex years of adolescence.
Unfortunately, I did not learn this way, and today, my struggle with comprehending literature and seeing their true or hidden meanings is proof that teachers need to go outside of their box and use their “literary lenses.” I hope that this class will help me with that. This can be my fresh start.
Teachers need to be more than what is expected of them, it is their job. I want to be that person who is admired and thought of as ‘life changing’. I want to make that difference in someone’s life, this is my chance.