Friday, June 23, 2006

Why we don't read "twaddle" here.

Or at least not much. Sure, Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield cartoons come into the house on occassion, and the Boy read Captain Underpants when he was in that potty humour stage at age 7 (which differs not greatly from the potty humour he engaged in at age 10, and again at age 14-seems to come in 3 to 4-yr cycles,lol), but for my part, I have really worked at only bringing classic literature into the house. Here in a nutshell, is why.

From Norms and Nobility by David V. Hicks, pg. 137. Quoted in The Latin Centered Curriculum by Andrew Campbell, pg. 47

"One cannot help but observe the trend in modern schools to substitute light "escape" reading for the more difficult classics. The practice is defended in the name of getting students to read. The assumption is that because students learn to read by reading, schools must provide books that students will want to read, books that will not overtax their patience, their limited vocabulary, or even their more limited intelligence. A corollary to this assumption, as we have seen, is that students cannot enjoy reading serious classics with their demanding styles and remote contents. Clearly, the classical academy rejects this thesis. Not only does it refute the notion that classics are inaccessible or unenjoyable to young readers, but it reminds us that the purpose of learning is discovery, not escape. Substituting the literature of escape for the classics is not education, but an attack on learning; it is not intellectual, but anti-intellectual. It represents a capitulation to the adolescent appetites of our students and our race."

Couldn't have said it better myself!

No comments: