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ERIC Number: ED027297
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The "New" English.
DeBoer, John J.
The Educational Forum, v32 n4 p393-402 May 1968
Recent trends in the English curriculum--little more than changes in emphases--do not constitute a utopian "new English." In fact, one trend, revealed in some current studies of the high school English curriculum, involves a return to the "old" tradition of instruction in the great masters of English and American literature. The studies imply a sophisticated chauvinism as well as an unfamiliarity with the diversity of American high school students. A trend which has effected changes in the teaching of language--the "new linguistics"--may not improve a student's verbal expression any more than did Latinate grammar. Furthermore, Jerome Bruner's thesis that every subject has a structure that can be mastered is not applicable to English, a subject which embraces many kinds of learning. Finally, the tripod theory of English only increases a fragmentation of the curriculum at a time when scholars are urging integration. A more useful procedure in organizing the English curriculum is for teachers of English (1) to recognize that English shares the tasks of the high school as a whole, (2) to consider human aspirations and anxieties as an organizing principle of an "idea-centered" curriculum, and (3) to admit that English encompasses many activities which are not necessarily connected with a central organizing theme. (JS)
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