Originally Posted by Elfwreck
There are similar problems with most of the "classics" taught in schools. They are very much products of their eras, and some of the continued reliance on them is an overt attempt to keep the values of those eras active. It's not working--kids don't have enough context for that--so instead, we get kids who think that "classic book" means "boring and obsolete story themes" and draw huge meaning from what were originally the side-details.
I agree. I think it would make a lot more sense to teach children using texts which are old enough to have built up a body of analysis and prove themselves more than passing fads, but which are recent enough that the cultural context and language isn't such a huge barrier. There's more than enough post-ww1 literature to full most of a high-school curriculum, maybe with one or two older works to show how things have changed since the 17th century.