Monday, April 25, 2016

Because It Requires Some Intelligence to Teach

Why Are Schools Abandoning Literature?
In a single academic year, the 10th grade English class at Manhattan’s Beacon School, where Denby visited, read Rousseau, Falkner, Hesse, Frankel, and Hawthorne. The point of reading these books was not just to cross another name off their author bucket lists. Denby watched the students wrestle with these books to consider “the problem of authority,” the individual and his or her relationship to society, sin and judgment, the challenges of modernity and its technologies, and so much more. As Denby’s book shows, and as our best teachers know, literature isn’t merely a school requirement or a list of recommended books. Great literature teaches us how to live better lives. And those are lessons we carry with us long after we’ve left school.