Friday, December 9, 2011

Should Teachers Express Their Own Opinions?

Note: The National Council of Teachers of English was founded in 1911. The organization is celebrating its centennial. As part of this celebration, College English is publishing excerpts from its predecessor, the college edition of The English Journal. The excerpts are timely, a bit wordy and take their time to get to the point. However, I believe my readers will find them of interest. RayS.

Bergen Evans, “English and Ethics,” Vol. 24 (September 1935), 541-45.

Quote: “Those who maintain that the teacher has no right or need to express his personal convictions are not without some justification. A persistent or excessive intrusion of personal approval or disapproval is bad. Everyone has suffered from teachers who made the work being read merely a text from which they expounded their own ideas….” (543-44).

Comment: It’s even worse when a student contradicts the teacher’s convictions on feminism, etc., and the teacher penalizes the student’s writing because of it. I have read several articles in College Composition and Communication by teachers defending this practice. I disagree! RayS.

Title: “College English’s Precursor: Excerpts from the College Edition of The English Journal.” College English (November 2011), 157-191.

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