SF Signal asks several SF authors for recommended stories for English Lit class. John C. Wright starts to answer by by saying:
The question is frankly a very difficult one. Let us analyze it.
The purpose of education is to teach the youth the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and, as they grow, to teach either a trade or to train them in the liberal arts (Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy). Additionally, education must instruct the youth in the Christian faith and classical virtues (fortitude, temperance, justice, prudence), as well as teaching enough Civics and history to allow them to be productive and honest citizens of this Republic, able to serve as jurors, voters, or soldiers, wisely and bravely, as the need demands.
Unfortunately, the Progressives of over a century ago usurped the educational industry, and created an establishment similar to the Established Church of England, in that the schools became the primary conduit not of education, but of indoctrination in progressive dogmas, and, later, various lunatic dogmas of the Politically Correct, communism, feminism, sexual liberation, environmentalism, and most of all the doctrine that all philosophy is meaningless and all ethics relative, and human life not sacred.
Given this, when I am asked what science fiction and fantasy I would recommend to educate and instruct the youth, I take the question as being akin to asking what superhero comic books or fairy princess Disney cartoons I would recommend to educate and instruct the youth. But the purpose of science fiction and fantasy is to entertain, not to instruct. When art becomes didactic and pedagogical, it often loses its savor
He then goes with several lists of recommended reading:
I understand what he means, but art does educate.
It, of course, should not be used to propagandize, but we learn best through stories (or at least I do).
Jesus used stories to teach the people about the truths of God, and science fiction/fantasy/comic books/Disney Cartoons can do the same.
How many of us learned what friendship really was by reading about Sam and Frodo? How many of us understood sacrificial love by watching Luke Skywalker throw away his lightsaber to save his father’s soul?