Classic Literature Definition

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The mandate to teach civic and moral character in the classroom and how it should be taught is disputed, especially including classic literature in the curriculum. Classic literature is defined as having some sort of outstanding quality that endures through time, agreed upon literary experts. Some educators and schools consider some content in classic literature too mature for school learning or being too complicated for classroom usage. They contend that it is archaic and unrelatable to the students as the classroom becomes more diverse and pluralistic. Notwithstanding, others debate that classic literature contains enlightening moral and civic dilemmas. They further say that literature in the classroom gives room to introduce many view and…show more content…
With maturely written books, comes mature themes inappropriate for school settings. Critics point out the development of sexual behaviours that come as the designated audience’s age increases (Hibbs). However, this only goes to further to support the overall development of thematic elements. In 1984 by George Orwell, the protagonist has sexual intercourse outside the strict government law. This action, while deemed inappropriate for school, plays a huge role in furthering the themes of fascist and tyrannical governments, rebellion, and human desires. These themes are critical to the civic and moral discussion when choosing how far the government’s should reach, and 1984 excellently phrases the dilemma into an understandable scenario. While introducing these themes to elementary school students is understable, high schoolers approaching adulthood need to have insight into this discussion. Isolating students from the problem does not solve the problem that they are eventually going to encounter later…show more content…
In 1836, Reverend William Holmes McGuffey published his volumes of the McGuffey Readers (“William H. McGuffey”). These volumes contained short stories or parables to teach values of honesty, respect, and kindness as well other of his necessary values of people (Damon). From then till 1922, the Readers were near omnipresent in all classrooms, being the number one most read text in schools (Damon). These small novelettes taught important key principles to students that formed them into empathetic, critical thinking citizens. The stories brought the values into perspective for its students and situated a character trait that could only be learned outside of literature through experience, into a relatable context for students to understand. This is the crucial value of literature in education, and the effectiveness of McGuffey’s Readers exemplifies the call for including literature in civic and moral education. Its ability to provoke empathy in students is critical to teaching societal and character values.
All in all, with the rising of non centralized morals, character education is indispensable and literature is necessary to create an effective program. Schools have lost their way and students must be taught the responsibility of interacting with the society around them. The pressing need for a national cohesiveness must be addressed and the time is
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