For many generations, students ...have..... had to go through the art of literary commentary in order to graduate. In Romania, this is one of the key parts of the final exam of the high school graduation exam. It goes without saying that the topic regarding literary analysis is one of the most important dilemmas that the Romanian educational world has to face.  Some say that there is no gain in dedicating so much time in school for something that in today’s world seems meaningless, while others strongly affirm it’s an essential skill for young people to master. The following essay takes a look at both sides of the argument.

On one hand, at its foundation, literary analysis encourages critical thinking.  While in a literature class students may be asked to analyze a specific piece of literature or to look for specific elements or connections within a piece of literature, doing such things establishes a framework for critical thinking outside of literature.  Because of Thanks to critical thinking, students are encouraged to connect ideas, solve problems and reflect on their own beliefs. Literary analysis is at the same time fundamental in building a strong sense of focus. A multi-disciplinary study out of Stanford shows the relation between analyzing literature and the ability to focus. Natalie Phillips, lead scholar of the study, said, “Teaching close reading (i.e., attention to literary form) could serve – quite literally – as a kind of cognitive training, teaching us to modulate our concentration and use new brain regions as we move flexibly between modes of focus.” Furthermore, understanding works of various authors benefits students by offering them different perspectives of the world from different mind sets and time periods. On top of that, it is essential in developing the vocabulary and the capability of writing essays, both important....... skills in the modern world.

On the other hand, the works that students are supposed to read today in school usually belong in to the last century being at the same time an unfair way of differentiation in exams [paragraful asta nu e doar despre vechimea textelor, deci topic sentence trebuie schimbat]. As a result, most of them find them old-fashioned, hard to relate to and overall plain boring. And that is not all Furthermore, finding appropriate texts to teach can also become a concern, especially for teachers with groups of students who don’t read on the same level. This matter has a negative impact on the performance in school and can drastically affect the final exam.  On top of that, literary commentary is a very subjective  area, and can be interpreted in many ways. For years, this has been one of the leading causes why students have had important gaps between the initial score in the exam and the one after the appeal.  What is more, another disadvantage in the learning process is that teaching a literary text is much more difficult than teaching individual vocabulary words. Students read at different paces, making structuring class time difficult, especially because a commentary of a text takes a lot of understanding.

All things considered,  the Romanian educational system should take into consideration both the advantages and disadvantages of literary analysis as a part of the final exam of the high school graduation exam. It should be acknowledged both that it can be a constructive way for students to develop important skills needed after they graduate and that it might be an unfair way to evaluate students that aren’t on the same level of understanding and interpreting a text.

Last edited by galactic_traveler (2019-12-15 15:04:54)