Imagine a world without words: no reading, no writing, no communication. It is difficult to imagine such a place existing.
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. Yet for some people, this imaginary world without words is still a reality. A world of darkness and suffocating ignorance presses in around them leaving few and narrow possibilities for survival in a success-driven society. How do adults and teens end up in circumstances such as these? They simply slipped through the gaps of the American education system, the largest of which is the absence of emphasis on literature.
The value of great literature extends far beyond simply reading printed words on a page. Of course the primary focus of reading books, especially at an early age, is to learn how to read. However, as students learn these basic, everyday skills, the possibilities become endless. Great works of literature contain much more than words. Incredible insights into the time period of the author"s life or of the subject on which the author has written are readily available. It is a history lesson without the textbook. History comes alive through reading. Literature also presents the opportunity to learn about new ideas and cultures previously unknown to the reader. Possibly the greatest advantage gained through literature is that students learn to write by constantly reading excellent writings. Overall, a strong emphasis on literature produces a well-rounded individual.
The problem with the public education system in this country is that somehow student graduate from high school without ever reading great works of literature. It happens time and time again. Either teachers do not assign students to read excellent literature, or students find one of the many loopholes to escape actually reading anything. The results can be disastrous. It is amazing how many high school students can not write a paper. Some can literally not even write a sentence. There is absolutely no reason why any student in high school should not possess the ability to write a cohesive sentence and even an intelligent paper. Yet it still happens, and it is because students have not read enough and seen enough examples from great authors. The best way to teach students how to write is to show them through literature. It is almost impossible to be a well-read individual and not be able to write well also.
Throughout the majority of the twelve years spent in school, my personal education was based primarily on literature. During those seven years, incredible emphasis was placed on reading and also on writing. The schooling received at home was and continues to be invaluable in various ways. Specifically, the study of literature has been invaluable in school and in everyday life. It has been of great assistance in writing all of the many compositions required, and also in recalling specific aspects of history, science, cultures, and more. It is amazing how much easier it is to succeed having this knowledge gained through much reading.
The most important change that could ever be made to the public school system is to place a much larger emphasis on literature at all levels of education. All of the difficulties students are experiencing in high school with reading and writing could be avoided if the right steps are taken. Literature must become a main focus. It will greatly aid students in all aspects of school and learning simply to be required to read more
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