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ERIC Number: ED207447
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 102
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Taking the Radical Risk: Diary of a San Francisco State Professor.
Halperin, Irving
Perspectives on the literature teacher's role and appropriate subject matter, educational objectives, and instructional methods are considered in light of campus unrest that occurred in the late 1960s at San Francisco State University. The value of studying works of literature in a time of violence and psychic numbing is addressed, and possible ways of teaching literature that would examine various elements of human experience, ranging from compassion to depersonalization, are questioned, and reference is made to the significance of the European Holocaust. American novelists and literature are cited relative to the question of how the experience of art can be used to promote student growth and development. The interest in Thoreau, Melville, and Faulkner during the period of social upheaval is analyzed. The needs of black and other minority students and changes in curricula and admission criteria, the personal experience of violence during the protests, and the social concern about the conditions in society, and largely the Vietnam War, are considered. The teacher's position in openly examining whether change is needed within the college, and the traditional right to peaceful public protest and honest dissent are examined. The issue of academic freedom in regard to the college president's instructions to faculty not to discuss the Indo-China War in the classroom is noted. It is suggested that the study of literature can help promote understanding of the human condition and, that for a literature teacher, a personal goal is to teach the importance of being human. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A