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ERIC Number: ED311441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr-8
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
In Defense of the Aesthetic: The Role of English Educators in Defining Culture and Fighting Censorship.
Anderson, Philip M.
For English educators, the censorship issue is more than reactively attending to censors; it is really an issue of what a member of the profession does, where responsibilities lie. English educators must struggle to provide literary experience, aesthetic language experience, and promote writing as dialogue in a social context. Limiting and controlling forms of language experience are as much a censorship threat as limitations on the content of teaching. Most importantly, English educators must resist increasing attempts to reconceptualize human thinking and behavior in technological terms. Two recent developments in educational thinking threaten the aesthetic domain of English teaching, both emanating from technological reconceptualizations of human activity. One trend is the use of cognitive science models, primarily from computer models of thinking, for educational psychology. The other is the continuing use of technical models for school curriculum, especially now that cognitive science precepts are used to legitimate those models. One of the best recent examples of the application of technical rationality to an educational problem is the argument put forth by E. D. Hirsch, Jr., which has resulted in "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know." Hirsch's emphasis on "memorization" of cultural data is a computer programmer's idea of how thinking works. English educators, however, need to promote "creative" writing and aesthetic reading in the curriculum, based on models of human learning, not on reductionist computer models. (Twenty-eight references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A