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ERIC Number: EJ783638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Taking Time to Reflect on Censorship: Warriors, Wanderers, and Magicians
Perry, Tonya
English Journal, v97 n3 p105-108 Jan 2008
Many of our children are exposed to practical, everyday issues that would have seemed foreign to us as a society twenty years ago: sexual harassment (regardless of gender), cyberbullying, virtual violence, and stalking by Internet predators. Widespread censorship for middle school students is counterproductive to thinking in such an open and digital world. In this article, the author describes how teaching a session on sexual harassment taught her an important lesson: listening, collaborating, giving information and feedback, and allowing for more thinking and processing were the only ways to combat ignorance. She contends that overall ignorance about appropriate behavior is the root of acts committed by many students. Sometimes the ignorance lies dormant because it is unchallenged by schools and teachers. The author recommends "Unpacking the Loaded Teacher Matrix: Negotiating Space and Time between University and Secondary English Classrooms," by SJ Miller and Linda Norris--a book which led her to start thinking of teaching in three stances: warrior, wanderer, and magician. For the warrior, survival skills are key and factual information is primary. Warrior teachers instruct students to participate in "intellectual warfare" with facts. For the wanderer, experiencing learning in school is key and interpretation is primary. Wanderer teachers instruct students to participate in the learning journey. For the magician, transforming learning to authentic learning in any context is key and transformation is primary. A magician teacher is not one who creates magic; rather, he or she is one who realizes the power of teaching and creates opportunities for students to make informed decisions, an opportunity for students to create magic in their thinking. The author concludes that in a society of virtual reality and information overload, we must redefine censorship and replace much of the old practice with deep thinking and accurate information-seeking strategies. If the goalis to produce adults who can think and decide for themselves what is appropriate, students need practice and guidance along the way to make decisions and learn about the possible choices they will face. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A