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History and Literature: Key to Passing the Let

Passing the LET and becoming a competent education graduate require a great deal of at least everything. It is known to many that teachers are jacks-of-all- trades and basic knowledge of mathematics, science, politics and current events is a determiner to becoming a teacher. Also, these determiners are not worth mentioning without emphasizing the importance of history and literature. Teachers and future teachers are expected to have enough, if not wide, perception, grasp and understanding of literature since literature is a part of a teacher’s daily life.

Literature can be used for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training a child, as said by Saul of Tarsus in his second letter to Timothy (3. 16). Literature “fills a much-needed gap” for teachers, according to the twentieth century educator and author of The Greek Drama, Moses Hadas. These gaps which Moses refers to are gray areas that teachers should have much idea about: moral dilemma, relationship issues, attitudinal issues, etc. But since literature makes “a thousand persons in an individual (C. S. Lewis), it fills the gaps for teachers to have enough to say in their authentic lessons.

Teachers and future teachers, aside from being authentic educators, are also expected to have something to say about history. Teaching learners to learn from the mistakes of history is what Huxley (Case of Voluntary Ignorance, 1959) tried to emphasize. History and literature work hand-in-hand. Literature is a product of history and history, a product of literature. Literature helps in the understanding of history and history gives way to the interpretation of literature. Therefore, knowledge of history is the key to understanding literature. It serves as a schema. It acts as a background.

Background knowledge is a very important element in the assimilation of new information. It facilitates understanding and thrusts further learning. In any kind of learning, background knowledge is needed in one way or another. Graff mentioned in his book, Professing Literature (2007), that “literature is history written in a viewpoint” and that “criticism and history were aspects of a total activity of literary understanding. ” Facts stated above are driving forces that push the researchers to determine students’ performance and perception towards their study of Philippine History, Philippine Literature and World History in BSE.

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