ERIC Number: ED346480
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Writing a Core Curriculum: Classic Books and Student Compositions.
Chapman, David W.
Recent years have witnessed a great upsurge in interest in a core curriculum. However, there has been some disagreement as to what should be included or how it should be defined. Allan Bloom has argued most strongly that the "Great Books" should form the basis of the core curriculum. Not only is the term itself ambiguous, but the question arises as to how these Great Books are to be taught. Objectives for such a course should be geared toward the goal of producing literate individuals capable of reading works of significance independently, and desiring to do so. Clearly, such goals are not related to any particular texts. Instructors should be wary of what has been called the "rhetoric of liberal culture," a rhetoric which is elitist and aristocratic. Even if they do not sympathize with the advocates of the Great Books approach, however, teachers can admire their sincere search for coherence in the curriculum. Instead of having faith in the power of a certain set of books, attention should be focused on the rhetorical powers of students, the so-called "critical literacy." The return of rhetoric from exile would do much to redress many of the problems now facing the humanities. Assigning rhetoric a central role in the definition of the core curriculum has enormous implications. Writing becomes the very substance of liberal education, teachers are freed from the tyranny of coverage, and the results of the educational experience can be validly assessed. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A