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ERIC Number: ED349241
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Anthropocentrism, Schools, and Environment.
An arrangement of Woody Guthrie's song "This Land is Your Land" was recently voted the most popular song among U.S. music teachers and other educators. This arrangement actually includes only three verses of the song that Guthrie wrote as a parody of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." Guthrie's original song was a radical statement against inequality and dispossession. In the popular arrangement this message is completely lost, and the song is transformed into generalized optimism; we are all secure within wide physical and romantic boundaries and within them we are also all equally free to roam. The transformation of "This Land is Your Land" has resulted in a message that reflects an image of conquering and possessing that is deeply rooted in the U.S. psyche. Threads of fear have been inherited from the initial European invasion of America, and people continue to view their environment as a threat to be neutralized rather than a mystery from which to learn. The school curriculum serves to perpetuate rather than challenge the shaky foundation upon which Americans' image of themselves and their land has been built. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Guthrie (Woody); This Land Is Your Land (Song)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 1992).