chapter  11
28 Pages

Mapping an Alternative Future

ByMartha C. Pennington, Robert P. Waxler

Literature and the humanities have a critical role to play in teaching language, in modelling effective use of language for expressing ideas with power and imagination, and in maintaining and continuing to evolve language to its highest potential – beyond that of spontaneous speech or quick messaging. Beyond their value for keeping people in touch with the great diversity of ideas and perspectives in the world, books and the humanities have an important role of helping people sort through, evaluate, and interpret all the information that is out there. People's engagement with great written works can help them harness their feelings, their instincts, and their imagination, in concert with their logic and rational powers, to good purposes. In today's world, people need space and time in schools and in public places where they shut off their electronic gadgets, where they quietly read works of great literature, and where they discuss that literature, face-to-face, with other human beings.