Preface

Posted in Literature Is Fun on 25/09/2010 by wey shiuan

Hello everyone,
This program is call i-Poems Generation, it offers i-lessons as well as i-exercises to secondary Form 4 students. The target audience could be all secondary school students in Malaysia. The objective of this program is to guide learners in dealing with poems in which it is compulsory in Literature Component stated in our Curriculum Specification. Lesson plan ( Please click on Teacher’s Guide in blog to view a sample lesson plan ) is also available to assist teachers when they carry out this program with their students.

Why Literature?

Studying literature is an effective means of counteracting that way of thinking. Reading a good story, we feel less alone. Through comparing ourselves to the characters and situations described, we can think more clearly about our own strengths and weaknesses and about how we respond to various problems and trials.

The narrow world view of many incarcerated people can be broadened through the reading of literature. Good stories teach about compassion and deepen our understanding of human nature, life, death, love, loss, responsibility, and the consequences of good or bad actions. As they become good readers, the incarcerated start to ask questions about the characters’ qualities and behavior, predict the action, recognize common themes, and draw analogies to their own lives. They become actively engaged in the story — questioning, understanding, enjoying, and learning.

Ideally, we should all be thinking about our places in the world and how we measure up to particular standards and expectations. Generally, we begin this kind of thinking and questioning during adolescence. And, while the typical high school student is guided through literature, family influences, rites of passage, etc., in how to think about and respond to life’s situations, the incarcerated person, who could most benefit from this kind of guidance, is sadly neglected.

While the typical education for incarcerated people emphasizes training in basic skills, teaching these skills in isolation often fails to prepare the incarcerated individual for acquiring other skills. For example, teaching only for the high school equivalency degree often ends there. The students gets his or her G.E.D., and there ends the quest for further learning. But teach someone to appreciate and learn from literature, and the result is a person who will continue reading, questioning, analyzing, and learning.

Through reading and reacting to literature, incarcerated students learn to see their situations more objectively, to put aside feelings of hostility, to stop the habit of acting impulsively and the tendency to see things in black or white. They learn to move beyond that inarticulate and immobilizing sense of “I’m the only one who has ever felt this way, so you can’t teach me anything.” Letting the story be the teacher, the teacher becomes a guide who points out ways for understanding and learning from the readings.

Finally, as the students become more skilled in the basics of reading comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary acquisition, they become more thoughtful, and, hence, more human. They learn to compare characters and actions to their own lives and to ask the questions good thinkers ask:

  • How should I behave in a certain situation?
  • How can I make my life a better one?
  • What can I learn from the world around me?
  • What can my own experiences teach me?
  • Where do I fit in the giant scheme of things?

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