As you’re exploring different options for classes, you’ll likely see both literature and textbooks, which may result in wondering which one is the better choice. Of course, the answer does partially depend upon the subject and the material that the teacher needs to convey. For example, reading a poem about nature and a biology textbook are two different approaches to discovering information about science. If someone wants to learn the names and definitions of different organelles, they will need the latter text.
Still though, many other situations allow for flexibility in material. In other words, both literature and textbooks have the ability to convey the same information in certain scenarios. When you’re in this type of situation, consider the reasons why real literature beats other books in terms of learning.
Higher Student Engagement
One major problem with textbooks is that students tend to find the material boring and overwhelming. Some people might say that technology is to blame for this lack of desire to read such books. However, a study of education through the decades would likely reveal that many students have never been all that eager to sit down and read a textbook. While learning how to deal with a host of situations and assignments is important for students, so is absorbing information in a way that actually makes sense to them. Literature can prove more accessible to students.
When students go to buy textbooks, they might cringe at the cost. Having to buy textbooks is a typical part of the college experience, but so is feeling low on funds. Literature is typically available to students at a lower cost. They can explore various ways of procuring these books:
- the college bookstore
- the college library
- the local library
In most cases, the college bookstore will have the highest prices, so students looking to save money should explore the other options. Students who are required to purchase literature for their classes will often find that the books are available at the college library. They could look into their local libraries too. One disadvantage to taking books out from the library is that students may need the material for a longer time than the due dates allow. Furthermore, they might like to write and take notes in their books, which isn’t possible with a borrowed book from the library. Therefore, searching online for great deals is a smart way to save funds.
Analysis and Application
Literature also allows for analysis and application. A more straightforward book for learning cannot undergo analysis in the same way that a poem or a novel can. Even when students are reading nonfictional pieces, they can examine and analyze the strategies that the authors use to convey their messages. Critical thinking and analytical skills are important in many ways. In fact, many college writing courses emphasize these skills, and students in other classes that require papers often must include analysis and application in their writing. Also, in the work environment, employees are often challenged to think critically and to develop creative solutions. Practicing analysis with literary pieces can provide students with preparation for their future endeavors.
Reading pieces of literature also allows student to identify with characters. At the high school and college level, in particular, many students are embarking upon journeys to discover who they are and what they want out of life. They don’t necessarily need to emulate every feature of a particular character to identify with the individual. They can feel some connections, and these connections can prove powerful in motivating youngsters to pursue their own goals. Relating to a character can also help to inspire a love of literature and continued learning.
You also must consider the fact that literature tends to be more portable than heavy books stuffed with facts. Students who have classes back-to-back do not necessarily have time to return to their dorms or lockers to pick up their books. In fact, you might find that students are constantly leaving their hefty books at home or in their dorms because they don’t want to carry them. Portability is also important when students want to meet up with one another to study for an upcoming quiz or to better understand a piece of literature. You may also find that literature is more readily available in digital forms, which a number of students prefer.
Voice and Genre
A book filled to the brim with factual information may not have much voice to it. The writers may convey the information in a very matter-of-fact way that does not really entice the readers. Students also do not get to explore different genres when they are exposed only to this type of reading. Engaging with literature, on the other hand, allows students to bolster their knowledge of writing techniques. They can take these techniques to create their own writing and even perhaps produce more exciting educational content for future generations.
Ultimately, you must consider what the subject is and what it is that you want the students to learn in the course. Different classes have different needs. Still though, considering the perks of literature can help students to develop a stronger understanding of writing and the world around them.