ERIC Number: ED281265
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Jun-21
Science Fiction and General Semantics as Interdisciplinary/Cross-Cultural Teaching Aids.
Drake, Harold L.
General semantics and science fiction are disciplines that can be incorporated in lectures for public speaking and other speech communication classes. Alfred Korzybski's theories of general semantics lend themselves to researching, preparing, delivering interpersonal communication messages, and establishing student interest in foreign languages, as well as to such disparate fields as teaching, dentistry, and fiction writing. The basic instructional model "sf + gs = K" (science fiction + general semantics = Knowledge) can be useful for interdisciplinary and intercultural curricula, and the addition of an "x" factor to the basic formula would represent an added academic discipline or off-campus condition (sf + gs + x = K). Science fiction authors such as A.E. Van Vogt, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and Aldous Huxley have been influenced by Korzybski's theories, and their novels represent a popularization of general semantics. Teachers could introduce a unit on science fiction with a lecture on general semantics, referring to the works of Van Vogt or Heinlein. In a Japanese classroom setting, students could assess a single Japanese author's stories relative to the fantastic as a source of national inspiration, for example, or to national introspection relative to the here and now. Foreign language studies might be enhanced by having students read science fiction both in their native language and in the language they are learning. Korzybski maintained that his theories were applicable in different contexts of human communication, and the addition of the basic formula of sf + gs + x = K shows the applicability of general semantics to various academic disciplines. (Thirty-five footnotes are appended.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan