“Rethinking Literature in Schools”
First round of discussions… watch them at www.livemedia.gr/logoallios21
"From nine o’clock" as K.P. Kavafis would say, began the 1st online International Student Meeting of Literature with the imaginative title "Rethinking Literature in Schools", as was characteristically mentioned by Mr. Costas Giavis. The meeting was co-organized by E. Mantoulidis Schools and the Zografeio High School of Istanbul in 15 and 16 April.
Students, teachers of secondary and tertiary education as well as writers had the opportunity to exchange thoughts, questions and reflections on the teaching of literature today.
In the first session "The teaching of literature in high schools today", the student Christina Tsakloglou stressed the need to focus on teaching through "brighter" texts, while Mr. Spyros Kiosse underlined the need for a more flexible choice of texts, other than curricular textbooks. Their views were adopted by many students who emphasized that this should be their rightful choice.
Next, there was the talk of "The ideal literature course - Suggestions for teaching and reading". Ms. Venetia Apostolidou referred to the broader approach to literature beyond the classroom, while the thesis of the student Elena Agouridou for a more modern approach through dramatization even in larger classes of the senior high school made a strong impression. There was also a lot of talk about the teachers of literature who are called today to play various roles; from an actor, as the student Konstantina Giannopoulou said, to a director, as Mr. Costas Akrivos added.
The session entitled "Is poetry taught?" followed. The students referred to the importance of poetry in a modern era in which this genre is declining in popularity and they extensively discussed the difficulties of its teaching. The students expressed their literary concerns through reading poems mainly by Giannis Ritsos and George Seferis, but also graciously sang a poem by Kostis Palamas!
After a short break, the session entitled "The role of the reader, the role of the writer and the role of the literature teacher" followed, in which Ms. Lila Konomara pointed out that the decision to become a writer must be the result of inner will , as one cannot make a living from writing today, while Mr. George Andreiomenos focused on the contribution of technology in the literature courses and the interconnection of literature with other subjects for a more attractive approach both for students and teachers.
The first day ended with a discussion that has troubled many on the question of "Creative writing or essay writing?". During the discourse students focused mainly on and emphasized the freedom of thought that governs creative writing and the need to include it in the school curriculum, while Ms. Sofia Nikolaidou spoke about the psychological benefits of creative writing in a "closed" educational system, like the Greek one. On his part, Mr. Costas Aggelakos
stressed that lately the two sides, after the changes in the course, converge and there are no Manichean logics.
To be continued tomorrow!