Did you have to read entire books/plays?
For the most part, yes. At least in high school. Don't remember elementary, middle school took place somewhere else and I actually got to opt out of it and take another class.
And to me, that seems the proper way to teach people about literature. I assume that, if you're required to read Shakespeare's oeuvre, you'll grow to hate it. The real problem, however, is the horrible obsession literary scholars and teachers have with interpretation — looking for all kinds of psychoanalitical and political subtexts and hidden meanings. That crap isn't just boring, it's detrimental to the way people read and write.
Part of my point.
but my agreement with Deboss ends there.
So, we're in a fundamental state of agreement of what should be done over all, but disagree on specific curriculum? Eh, that's par for the course.
Pray, do tell me — is literature separated from all the rest in American high schools? In my high school it wasn't — it was all-in-one.
From what I can tell, this is still true in the local high school, as my brother pointed out to me. However, I believe the local lower level schools have a separated into ELA
. I support separating them because that's pretty much how I was exposed to it in college. College English focused entirely on rhetoric and construction of essays and had no literature component. I've already covered why I think separating formal logic from english is a good idea.
My stance on literature in education is that it's a tool for trying to get students to grow their vocabulary and grammar skills through practice. While talking too each other works on part of it, it doesn't help literacy, which is the goal of such. Using schools to try to influence the personal taste*
of students and preserve knowledge of literary classics as something to appreciate beyond their enjoyability is what I consider something to throw into a fire.
teachers shouldn't make you feel morally obliged to like him
I don't think the main body of English teachers are capable of doing so, hence why I feel the need to take it away as an option. Honestly, a rolling option might be worth considering, you can only use a book for five years, and then you have to get a different one. The primary target here are teachers who can't resist the urge to use their class as a chance to recruit for their fandom.
When you lead a horse to water, that horse will always drink. I don't know how that turn of phrase ever came into being.
And you dare
to use it without knowing its history! /emphasizing point