Eagleton on Education

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From Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory:

“Literary theorists, critics and teachers, then, are not so much purveyors of doctrine as custodians or a discourse.  Their task is to preserve this discourse, extend and elaborate it as necessary, defend it from other forms of discourse, initiate newcomers into it and determine whether or not they have successfully mastered it” (175).

Out of all the chapters we read by Eagleton, I liked this one the best.  I think that he did not use a lot of confusing terms and elaborated well on what he was discussing.  My favorite quote from this section would be the one above.  As a future English educator, I thought that he expressed what I will need to do for my job quite well.  In the classroom, I will need to regulate the conversations, help students realize what is important, and defend the text when necessary from skeptical students.  I do not think that Eagleton’s definition encompasses all the jobs of a teacher, but this is a good start. 

Thoughts?

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2 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Yes, I agree with your Angela. I think what Eagleton is trying to do in general is to make literary criticism seem more applicable to real people. I found that the poststructuralists (and now perhaps this new historicism) try to do this more frequently than the other schools. I like how you really tried to make Eagleton’s article applicable to you and your future.

Derek Tickle said:

I, in addition to Greta and Angela, agree with your opinions. This chapter seemed to be more down-to-earth per say. Angela brings up a great observation about teaching English in the classroom. I am going to be an elementary teacher and I am going to have to observe, supervise, guide, instruct, and help students when studying any subject, specifically English.

It seems that Eagleton is saying that teachers are like the middle man/woman. They take material (text), teach it, and create discussion that will help students understand it easier. When the students master the material, if you can say that they truly mastered it, then we, teachers, will move onto the next topic or text.

I think that Eagleton was giving us, soon to be teachers, a job well done!

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