ERIC Number: ED331803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Cooling Hot Topics.
Goodman, Marcia Renee
This paper explores questions about why high school English teachers do and do not teach works that they consider to be controversial. It examines the barriers, both internal and external, that these teachers experience and how they perceive the barriers. The teachers were nine participants in a summer university seminar for teachers which focused on Alice Walker's novel, "The Color Purple." Data consisted of materials that the nine teachers produced during the seminar; interviews with them a year and a half after the class; and informal conversations, interchanges, and observations. Analysis of the data revealed that when confronted with teaching controversial material, some teachers experienced emotional anxiety which reflected their own beliefs and fears about the issues in question, fear of disciplinary action by school authorities, concern about students' ability to handle controversial material, and concern about their own ability to present the material adequately. If teachers are to remain engaged and active throughout their careers, it is necessary to find ways to support them in their efforts to bring more realities into the classroom, including emotional realities. (IAH)
Descriptors: Black Literature, Censorship, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Educational Environment, English Teacher Education, Higher Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Lesbianism, Secondary Education, Secondary School Teachers, Sexuality, Student Reaction, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Color Purple; Walker (Alice)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).