ERIC Number: ED289172
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Preparing the New English Teacher to Deal with Censorship or Will I Have to Face It Alone?
Small, Robert C., Jr.
Noting that teacher education students are unfamiliar with the censorship issue, this paper discusses three kinds of censorship the pre-service English teacher can be expected to face, and suggests ways to prepare them to recognize and remedy anticipated problems. The essay identifies the first kind of censorship as that imposed by English teachers, librarians, and parents who reject adolescent fiction and popular teen magazines as less worthy reading material than the traditional canon. The essay advocates using individualized reading programs to counter such canonical censorship, and recommends seeking assistance from the school librarian for information about good new books and writers. Second, the essay identifies teachers' self-censorship resulting from more experienced colleagues' advice to avoid certain lesson plans judged too "difficult" or too controversial with parents. The essay again recommends seeking the advice of school librarians, who will have the best sense of what students like to read, and what their parents will object to. Finally, the essay identifies the censorship efforts of groups from outside the school, and notes that most students training to be teachers are unaware of the motives and scope of book censorship groups. The essay recommends initiating in-class debates on the subject, and inviting a school librarian to share experiences in negotiating such objections to book selection. (JG)
Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Censorship, Elementary Secondary Education, English Curriculum, English Instruction, English Teacher Education, Higher Education, Individualized Reading, Language Arts, Library Role, Parent Attitudes, Preservice Teacher Education, Reading Assignments, Reading Interests, Reading Material Selection, School Libraries, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Textbook Selection
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (77th, Los Angeles, CA, November 20-25, 1987).