ERIC Number: ED193689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
On the Necessity of Being Human.
Typically, students justify their pursuit of a college education as being necessary for a well-paying job, rather than as a tool for themselves as individuals. Often college curricula are responsible for turning students away from knowledge for its own sake. But should an education be merely useful? The description of the Alphas in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" as being the most creative and original persons with the greatest abilities and consequently as being more human, and of the worker Epsilons as being little more than robots, raises the question of whether colleges are educating students in a robotic way. Although students might reluctantly agree that humanities are valuable, much of student reluctance to develop interest in them stems from instructors' preoccupation with the mechanics and loss of sight of the purpose of their discipline. In the area of English, where writing assignments are vital to teaching, a better approach than topics of only superficial interest would be one with a more human aspect. In one class, for example, an impromptu discussion of Hamlet led the students to write about what they would have done in his position, thereby generating interest in the assignment as well as in the literature itself. As a humanities course, English should not be reduced to a mechanical level but rather should run the gamut of human experience. A return to literature in composition classes may encourage greater interest and depth in this. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Regional Conference on English in the Two-Year College (15th, New York, NY, October 16-18, 1980).