Various factors influenced cultural identity and personal development of an individual. Education plays an important role in personal, moral, social, or even spiritual aspect of a person’s life. It is vital to teach and hone skills of children in numerous ways because they are often lively and prefer being active, as a result, their attention cannot be fixed in a single subject or activity and they get distracted quickly. Educators, specifically teachers have to introduce a system of learning wherein children will engage themselves to a certain subject that will help them learn and enjoy while they gain necessary knowledge and information that they need.
Every subject possessed different areas that help us shape ourselves as a person. For instance, Mathematics subjects help us develop our critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as logical reasoning, History subject enable us to imagine and understand every significant scenarios in the past which shaped our present, another is English and Language subject which help us to communicate. In connection with this, Literature is also a very important subject that the need to teach this even at a young age must be carried out. Literature covers wide areas for growth of a student or a person. Teaching Literature to children contributes noteworthy in their personal development. For this reason, it is right to consider that this subject is not just a mere tool in language learning but also a source of personal growth for young learners. Through studying literary texts, children can develop their critical and analytical skills since they learn to work on their own and present their arguments supported by facts from what they have read. Discussions of literature bring out reasoning related to sequence, cause and effect, character motivation, predictions, visualization of actions, characters, and settings, critical analysis of the story and creative responses. Visual literacy of young minds can improve through picture books, images, and illustrations which are also connected to the stories being told to them which they can give their own interpretation. Incorporating visuals will help pupils be aware of line, color, space, shape, and design. Reading texts and stories enable student to feel that they are part of the story and they get attached emotionally to the characters which may be the start of fostering their love in reading. Also, the study of literature encourages empathy, tolerance for diversity, imagination and emotional intelligence which is the understanding of feelings, both of one’s own and the others. Moreover, it educates the reader, helps him form a set of values and form attitudes towards them. Good literature deals with some aspects of the human condition, and can thus contribute to the emotional development of the child, and foster positive interpersonal attitudes. Children will be able to differentiate what’s good and evil through stories with superheroes which allow them to solve their own problem as they try to understand certain situations or circumstances that the characters are facing. Furthermore, it builds experience. Their imagination can extend to visit new places, gain new experiences, and meet new people. They learn about the past as well as the present and learn about their ancestors and their cultures as well as a variety of cultures all around their country and the world. They discover the common goals and similar emotions found in people of all times and places. Literature provides a language model for those who hear and read it. By using literary texts, students learn new words, syntax and discourse functions and they learn correct sentence patterns, standard story structures. The purpose of introducing tales, stories and poems to the primary cycle is not only to develop speaking and thinking but also to offer behavioral models which will contribute to forming children’s personality. Ironically enough, not logical arguments but aesthetic dimension and affection determine very often the ethical behavior of the individual. Likewise, to introduce students to literary reading in such a way that they can enjoy it and develop regular reading habits is the central purpose of reading literature within primary school. At a young age, they will have an interest in reading a variety of texts representing diverse experiences and perspectives for different purposes, including personal fulfillment.
Studies show that because of the changes in our society, the advancement in technology for example, children seem to focus more and can be seen more often in front of the computer, for homework or simply for leisure. These recent trends in education have made it very difficult for teachers to help inspire the appreciation of literature in their students. Several surveys and researches emphasizes the critical need for helping teachers to create a love of literature in students and showed a dramatic decline in literary and total book reading among all age groups and education levels. This resulted in confusion in one’s sense of self or identity (liquid identity). Therefore, this problem should be address and the curriculum as well as the class practice should give attention to spirituality, an important issue in nurturing the inner and outer lives of children. The diversity of our world and the numerous differences must be countered by education through integrating several fields and disciplines which can help children in their attempt to find meaning and connectedness in their lives. The term “Bildung” represents the way learning with literature is shaped within different educational systems is influenced by current concepts of education of culture, aesthetics and literature, of language and learning. It is commonly accepted that with regard to society, subjects are being prepared for citizenship in order to participate in public life, to acquire the necessary abilities to conduct and shape their lives as a learning process despite the uncertainties of work, career and social situation. In the field of literary education, the term is analyzed with regard to cultural life and should allow for personal development within a cultural context. From this point of view, the research paper used Romanian curriculum that includes appropriate texts which can be used to the above mentioned purposes. The examples presented are based on class experience and can be varied according to the class level. The activities which help children develop their skills in speaking, writing, listening, and writing with the objectives of language development, creative thinking, aesthetic dimension development, analysis, connecting information, vocabulary, drama, role play, parts of speech, and interpretation. It includes didactic play wherein instructions will be given by the teacher and the children will play the game under the teacher’s guidance. The teacher will summarize the verbal materials and the students will be rewarded for their participation. Another is presentation through a poem and the children will be asked questions according to sequence of the poem. Presenting a series of images about a poem, showing short historical film, and reading a story are the other activities which will help children learn new words and identify different elements of arts, design and colors through the images, paintings, and illustrations that will be presented.
This kind of technique in teaching students Literature is an effective way to revive the love of children in reading while they improve their different skills and develop their personal identity. In the Philippines, there are numerous writers that create good stories. Various literary texts exist with the aim to introduce cultural practices and good moral to the readers. One problem that arises in teaching literature to children is the lack of capability to attend school because of poverty. There are instances that children at the right age cannot develop their skills because it is not develop through education. Another is giving more attention to international literatures which introduces their culture and traditions further than our own. It is definitely good to show students these literatures because the purpose of teaching this subject is to give them ideas of other people’s customs and be able to interact with them through stories, the problem is most stories being taught or read to them do not feature our own cultures which may result to confusion. The numerous dialects and cultures in every part of our country also posed a challenge in teaching children literature because the sense of connectedness must be met despite the differences. Resources of materials should also be considered in implementing this kind of curriculum in teaching the subject, the painting and pictures that will be provided, the stories, as well as the technology that will be used in playing certain films for instance. Also, we cannot deny the fact that in some schools here in our country, classrooms are limited so there are over populated students in a single classroom which results to discomfort and eventually lost of interest and listening, or worst there are no available classroom at all so they have no choice but to perform their lessons outside. Additionally, with the current set-up of education wherein it is either online class or modular, it is challenging to teach literature to students at a young age because we cannot expect them to learn on their own. The curriculum is suggesting interactive activities as much as possible because this helps capture their attention more. However, not all students can join online classes where online interaction and activities can commence because there are those who lack the resources or materials that are needed for online classes (computer, laptop, mobile phone, internet connection, mobile data, and the likes) so performing such tasks will be difficult.
In order to address the above-mentioned challenges, several ways, improvements, or modifications should be made in our system for the betterment of teaching Literature subjects or other subjects as well. First, the support of the Government must be there most especially education is what we are addressing. Projects and programs for education must be one of the priorities because it creates a ripple effect in a person as well as the country he or she belongs. Literatures that are centered to our own culture should also be given much attention in considering the literary texts, poems, stories, and others that will be introduced to children because this will help them shape their identity and give sense of appreciation to the works of their co-citizens. Also, support of parents and relatives must be there in teaching Literature at home because children need guidance and a person who will teach as well as interact with them while they learn several literatures at home. They can invite their siblings or cousins with the same age or not or any people living near their house to join them as they read, listen, and play stories while they develop their skills and their personality. In general, this curriculum will enable teaching Literature in which language, culture, and literature are taught as a continuous whole. Any challenges that we are facing can be solve if we will put our hearts in overcoming it and support each other for the benefit of our future.
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