2nd post – Literature Text

The Prentice Hall Literature textbook your received is typical of English curricula across the country. (Prentice Hall packages this textbook with a grammar book and an additional literature only text that can be used as a supplement. The literature only book does not include activities like Vocabulary Development Lesson, Grammar Lesson, Extension Activity.)
It is not unusual for classroom teachers to be given only the Literature book. And the text represents the district’s English curriculum.

Discussions of the Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

Big Picture Discussion

  • What is the belief of the publisher concerning the study of literature?
  • What do you believe high-school students should study/learn about literature?
  • Detail Discussion

  • What is the role of the teacher?
  • What is the role of the student?
  • What skills does the textbook assume students have?
  • What preparation/skills does the textbook assume the teacher has?
  • Leave a Reply


    One response to “2nd post – Literature Text”

    1. downs says:

      The publisher seems to believe that the study of literature should revolve around reading strategies, improving grammar and vocabulary, and identifying plot structure and literary devices. The teacher is used to conduct the lessons published in the book. Excerpts of pre-selected literature is published with a set of questions. It seems to prepare students for standardized tests, from what I can recall taking.
      City High approaches the study of literature at a seemingly deeper level. First we have students read whole texts rather than excerpts. We choose books that we believe students will connect to personally. Students are required to synthesize the information beyond the questions given in our text book example. Student are required to write reflected essays or complete various projects based on themes discussed in their novels. In addition to novels selected for students, they have the option to choose from a selection of novels that match their interest and reading level.

      With the text book curriculum, the role of the teacher is to deliver the lessons on an assigned schedule. The role of the student to to complete the reading and assignments of these lessons. The text book assumes students read at a certain reading level. It seems that any teacher who has passed the English 7-12 PRAXIS and earned a teaching degree has the preparation and skills to conduct the lessons from the text book.
      With the City High curriculum, the role of the teacher is to create the literature curriculum (write units and lessons, select materials, etc) and make sure each student is engaged and learning. Because the teacher has the freedom of input in the curriculum, personal interest and ability level and be better accounted for than the text book curriculum. This does require more of the teacher. The teacher must thoroughly know their content, as they are creating the curriculum, plus they must thoroughly know their students, as they are creating the curriculum for them.

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