Teaching Literature: Exploring Pedagogy for Effective Learning - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1312 Words
Date:  2023-08-09


Learning is an essential aspect of human life that must be carried out most cautiously. In the teaching process, teachers often use pedagogy to control the learning interactions between them and the learners. Literature pedagogy deals with the study of aspects of effective teaching of literature. There is a need to define concepts and the diversity of orientations that promote effective literature teaching. Literature teaching presents a world-oriented, cosmopolitan oriented, global oriented, and nationalist-oriented method that improves the teaching process (CliffNotes, 2020). A pedagogical approach to the teaching of literature influences the universal beliefs in education and teaching through bringing together relevant teaching and learning aspects including the interactions between teachers and students, the informative content used, strategies employed in the teaching process, theory and practice of teaching, and the consolidated goals of the learners and the teachers. Based on the situation, the time, and the literary context, educators will choose a given way of teaching.

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Roberts (2018) strongly presents love as a pivotal point in the educational and teaching perspective. He bases his recommendation for the inclusion of love in the teaching process based on Father Zosima's experience. To him, love is a teacher, and teaching, understanding, and sharing of experiences crafts a specific knowledge of love. In explaining the full extent of the inclusion of love in teaching, he refers to a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, “The Brothers Karamazov." The book is centered on the lives of three brothers, Ivan, Alyosha, and Dmitri, and their behavior before and after their father was murdered. The novel takes an interest in the protagonist Father Zosima, an elderly monk who doubles in his role as a mentor for Alyosha. Dmitri is accused and charged wrongly for his father's murder while his brother Ivan gets tormented and heartbroken from the loss. After Zosima is murdered, Alyosha takes control of several activities at the monastery and gives guidance to the young boys based on the teachings he received from Father Zosima. The novel manipulates both positive and negative human qualities. The focus of love based on Zosima's teaching should be patient and attentive, humble, and unconditional without taking care of one’s flaws. Active love in this context also includes distress over other individual’s suffering. The cognitive experience in reasoning provides a basis for argument important in pedagogical approach to literature teaching, and logical thinking.

In the novel Catcher in the Rye, Holden and Mr. Antolini are engaged in a conversation. In the talk, Mr. Antolini inquiries from Holden what is bothering him and his reason for the repeated failure. In response, Holden tries to explain to him with a hope he would understand. However, Mr. Antolini seeks to lack compassion and understanding of Holden’s explanation. The lack of acceptance by Mr. Antolini tires Holden. Holden grows tired of advice from Mr. Antolini and interrupts the conversation with a yawn (Bloom, 2014). Based on the dialogue between Holden and Mr. Antolini, one can conclude that in the teaching of literature, the teacher should show compassion towards his students. Compassionate actions by the teachers help the students to get more involved in the learning process.

Roberts (2012) also mentions the readers' attention to Iris Murdoch's concept of love, attention, and education. Murdoch (2001) describes attention as a "just and loving gaze directed upon an individual reality." On the other hand, attention is the responsibility of dynamic moral agents. Murdoch's interest is on love through which we get to know other people. He also believes that the provision of attention is educative as it enables a deeper understanding of concepts and activities. Reasoning and willing are too intertwined, and willing has more power to determine what to believe in. He further explains that learning takes place through attention. Therefore, the learning process should go beyond paying attention to oneself to encompass a broader scope of paying attention to others.

In the teaching of literature, the teachers should incorporate attention and regular assessments to examine the student's learning process. However, it is impossible to have full knowledge of all the aspects that contribute to one's learning process. Of importance is the attention that should be incorporated into the learning process to ensure that all the crucial elements of the students' behavior are captured. Regular self-analysis by the students should be encouraged to keep track of their learning process (Roberts & Saeverot, 2018). The teachers should also incorporate proper assessment of the students to ensure that the teacher-student interaction is upheld. The teacher should also analyze the students and pay attention to each of them to understand the underlying reasons behind each student's behavior.

Murdoch's and Dostoevsky's opinions of active love should be incorporated into literature teaching. The teacher-student relationship should be based on love and attention. Based on Dostoevsky's view, the teacher should look beyond the students' flaws in his teaching process. Also, the students should look beyond the teacher's imperfections in a bid to facilitate the learning process. Murdoch's opinion of attention and love should also be incorporated into the learning process to ensure that there is an understanding between the teachers and the learners. The inclusion of love in the learning process enables the learners to gain freedom and ease the tension between the teachers and the learners and thus lead to active learning.

The literature teaching process should incorporate reason, thinking, logic, and rationality. The teachers should also help the students develop their reasoning. Developing reasoning is integral to the learning process. The students, therefore, need to build their reasoning to ensure that they trace their learning process. Logic provides a thoughtful and inquiring nature that allows human beings to behave rationally. By incorporating reason into the learning process, the students can enhance their class participation and healthy relationships.

To have a competent learning process, the students and the teachers should avoid predictability and stick in their comfort zones. According to Dostoevsky, people should not struggle to be like pianos but should act in ways that are in their best interest. Independence of thought and decision making should be allowed in learning to ensure each person’s thoughts are heard. Giving opportunities to students will help boost their morale and therefore ensure active learning. Each student should make their individual decisions to ensure their freewill is practiced. The inclusion of free will in the education process will help to enhance the teaching of literature.

The educational process should go beyond the mind to the education of the heart. Self-motivation is the first aspect of the learning process. The teachers and the learners of literature should be motivated to ensure that the learning process is effective. Motivation will strengthen the process by intensifying the drive to learn new skills each day. Motivation will also help to shape the behavior of the teachers and the learners.


In conclusion, therefore, it is essential to employ pedagogy in the learning process. There has been a focus on Roberts's review of two literary works of Iris Murdoch and Dostoevsky To understand the implication of pedagogy on the learning of literature. According to Murdoch, there is attention and love are vital elements in the learning process. Dostoevsky also poised that active love, unconditional love, brought about a lot of importance to the learning process. Therefore, the teachers should employ a pedagogical approach to teaching to ensure maximum optimization of the learning process.


Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2014). JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. InfoBase Publishing.

CliffNotes, (2020). Chapter 24. [online] Cliffsnotes.com. Available at: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/c/the-catcher-in-the-rye/summary-and-analysis/chapter-24

Roberts, P. (2012). Education and the limits of reason: Reading Dostoevsky. Educational Theory, 62(2), 203-223. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00443.x

Roberts, P. (2018). Love, attention, and teaching: Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. Open Review of Educational Research, 5(1), 1-15. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/23265507.2017.1404434

Roberts, P., and Saeverot, H. (2018). Education And The Limits Of Reason. Oxon: Routledge, pp.44-45.

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Teaching Literature: Exploring Pedagogy for Effective Learning - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 09). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/teaching-literature-exploring-pedagogy-for-effective-learning-essay-sample

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