A Perchant for Prose: Masterpieces Essay

A Perchant for Prose: Masterpieces Essay

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“Masterpieces are masterpieces not because they are flawless but because they’ve tapped into something essential to us, at the heart of who we are and how we live” and in high school, English classrooms across the country students are being taught various literary masterpieces from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (Hey, Boo). These works are typical examples of writing and the aesthetical imagery and stories it can exhibit. It is only natural that we would want to share that beauty with the next generation and fortunately, teachers have just that opportunity with their students. Literature can both inspire and motivate students when it is well taught. However, an increasing problem is prevalent within high schools everywhere; students do not like to read. The love of learning through literature is something that starts long before high school begins, but even those who already love literature seem to lose interest in reading around the time of their high school education. This brings forth the question of why students are losing interest in reading. What is going so wrong in our schools that are causing avid readers to become suddenly so disinterested in reading?
There is not just one answer to this massive question. The reasons students lose interest in literature vary from poor teaching methods like memorization that incite students to turn to spark notes, to an extreme emphasis on efferent teaching, a method that focuses on a predetermined answer. Problems even arise from teachers who over teach and end up hindering student understanding. The choice of reading material is another leading cause of disinterest. Students find the classics outdated, hard to understand, and difficult to r...


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...gan, Denise N., and Christopher W. Wagner. "What's the Catch?': Providing Reading Choice in a High School Classroom." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 56.8 (2013): 659-667. Print.
Pike, Mark A.. "Literature and Literacy at Key Stage 3." Teaching secondary English. London: P. Chapman Pub. ;, 2004. 49-68. Print.
"Popular Literary Canon Books." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. .
Prather, Kathryn. "ERIC - Literature-Based Exploration: Efferent and Aesthetic., 2001-May." ERIC. Institute of Educational Sciences, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. .
Swope, John W., and Edgar H. Thompson. "Three R's for Critical Thinking about Literature: Reading, 'Riting, and Responding." Activities to promote critical thinking. Urbana, Ill.: National Council of Teachers of English, 1986. 75-79. Print.

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