ERIC Number: ED277027
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Ideology and the English Class.
Williams, William F.
An English classroom contains both students of differing ideologies (that is, systems complete with centers that both express a desire and relieve anxiety) and teachers with their own ideologies. The potential for conflict is thus present. According to L. Althusser, however, the state provides certain apparatuses that prevent the formation of radically different ideologies, one of which is literature, which creates the reader, the subject. For J. Derrida, on the other hand, an ideology is a logical system, a structure, that is centered on one term of an opposition (such as good-evil) and functions only by ignoring the ennobling power of the other term. F. de Saussure considers language not a system but discourse. If an English teacher regards language as a system that stands outside the speaking subject, then the appropriate mode of instruction would involve drill, correction, and testing. If language is discourse, then the appropriate mode of instruction would involve establishing the class as a discourse community in which all members interact, creating the course and competency through constant practice. A classroom that is a safe place to challenge various beliefs and ideologies prepares students for a world that will often set their values or beliefs in question. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A