Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Controversial Books
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Author:  Emily Towery [ Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Controversial Books

Today we were asked the question, would you used banned books if you thought they were appropriate? I would use banned books in the classroom if I thought they were necessary. I think most of the reasons books are being are stupid reasons. Parents are afraid of what their children will learn by reading these books, but in reality, their children already know what is in the books. Children are exposed to so many different things now a days that what they read in books don't faze them. Would you use banned books in your classroom if you thought they were appropriate?

Author:  Katie Stover [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:27 pm ]
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I would definitely use a banned book if I felt like it would be the best piece of literature to help my students understand a lesson or if it had outstanding literary value in an English Class. When I was in high school, a lot of my teachers used banned books after getting a "permission slip" signed by the parents. They usually sent a letter home explaining why the book was banned and giving an example from the text. They then explained why they wanted to use it in class. Most of the time all of the students would get their slips signed and be able to participate in the activities. I agree with what you've said about children already knowing what is in the books before reading. It is surprising to me when young children know a lot about adult topics like drugs, alcohol, etc. but I have run across it more frequently in recent years as a camp counselor. It is hard not to be surprised by all that children DO know! Also like we were talking about in class, sometimes book that deal with difficult topics can help children cope with things, like the death of a friend. Sometimes literature is a more gentle way to help children learn about tough situations without the child actually being placed on the spot.

Author:  Katie Gray Nelli [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm ]
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Yes! I would use banned books if they were appropreate to what I was teaching! My teachers in highschool used many books that were banned and i can remember more content learned from these boks than books that were not banned. I feel that it is not the content that is not the problem, it is how that teacher presents that content. When using a banned book, expectings should be introduced from the start as to how the children should be mature while reading them.

Author:  amy butler [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:03 pm ]
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I definitely would use challenged books if I thought they were appropriate. I looked over the banned/challenged books list and I personally have read over half the books listed. I definitely wasn't offended by the books. And I have to agree with Katie Stover, "Sometimes literature is a more gentle way to help children learn about tough situations without the child actually being placed on the spot". Plus what is the point of the first amendment if people are going to go around and ban books? Sometimes that just makes people ignorant of important subjects. I think we should be able to have our students generally aware about the world around them and not sugar coat reality.

Author:  Samantha Neader [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:49 pm ]
Post subject:  using banned books

I would also use banned books in my class. I think that it is important for students to have a well rounded education and to be able to be exposed to those books. Children are going to find out about the things in those books anyway so what is the difference in teaching with them. I think it is important to allow kids the chance to decide for themselves what books they can and can not read and not choose for them. At least they are reading and that is what the goal is.

Author:  Natalie Brady [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:20 pm ]
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I think banned books are ridiculous. Really. So often parents and administrators get their pants in a wad over 'taboo' topics like rape, incest, abortion, drugs, religion, whatever. Well, guess what? Your students are going to know about all of that, and you'll probably have some who have experienced those topics being called taboo.

If a parent came to me saying I shouldn't teach a book because it dealt with 'mature' themes or whatever, I'd probably lead them to my 'classic' library that most parents are fine with their students reading - Shakespeare, Hurston, Hawthorne etc. Romeo and Juliet are super young teenagers having sex and committing suicide. Shakespeare treats most of his female characters like manipulative whores and the majority end up dead. Incest is huge. Several plays are pagan. Hurston deals with rape, abuse, and incest. The Scarlet Letter is all about infidelity with some drug references. All three of these are some of the most commonly taught authors in schools. Why is there a double standard against more modern books? The classics (with the exception of Huck Finn) can get away with it but something like Harry Potter can't?

Author:  William Vreeland [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:05 am ]
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The part of the lesson that amazed me the most tuesday was when we were shown the list of 100 books on the banned list and how many of them I have read. I can't remeber who in class said this but it seems as if the more popular the book is, the more sought after it is to be banned using Harry Potter as an example. In my opinion, most parents would not attempt to ban books. Like my parents, most parents are happy when their child is sitting down and reading on their own without having to be told to do so. If a child likes Harry Potter, what is the problem with it. I would love to go into my theories of why some people want books banned, but I think if anyone reads any history, they can guess where I might be going with that.

Author:  HeatherHeath [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:02 pm ]
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I would also use banned books in my classroom if I felt it was necessary. I also agree with Katie Stover that if you need it to talk about an issue that might be happening in the classroom, then use it. I think that by banning books people are just making them more popular. Also, they are pointing out the topics in the books that they don't want children reading (like the drug example in Harry Potter) and making the parts they think are bad more of the focus. I think people should just leave the books alone and let children read.

Author:  Ben Boyd [ Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:06 pm ]
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People need to have their feathers ruffled occasionally, so I don't see anything wrong with using a book with heavy subject matter to generate discussion in a classroom. In my future class, I don't think there will be alot of room for talk about banned books, but I do see where I could talk about books that caused a ruckus in points in history- Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Jungle, Catch-22. Mentioning these books today may seem cliche when it comes to controversial books, but that's because we tend to underestimate how very big an impact something had when we weren't around.

Author:  Justin Ausburn [ Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:33 pm ]
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I too would you use a banned book if I though it was the best material for my class. If parents can make a list of books that I can't teach from, then I should be able to make list of tv shows and movies that their kids can't watch.

Author:  lesliesheppard [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:19 am ]
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Yes, I would also use banned books in my classroom if I thought it was appropriate for the age group and important for them to learn and know about. I would definitely try to use them responsibly by getting permission and such but I think that most parents, if you present the material in the right way, would be willing for their students to be exposed to "banned books." Especially if you explain why people have banned them and how ridiculous the claims are.

Author:  Jennifer Beach [ Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:04 pm ]
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I probably would try to stay away from banned books if possible. If there was another way to get the point across than using a banned book, then I would use the alternative. I would only use a banned book if there was a very strong point I was trying to get across to my students. I would not just read a banned book for no reason. However, like I said earlier, I would try to go about the topic for discussion in another way, or try to find another book that might address the same issue.

Author:  Casey Gill [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:15 am ]
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I would use banned books if it was appropriate. I think I would run my book by the teacher before teaching my students. But I think some of the banned books are ridiculous and should be taught in the school system. I don't think I'll run into so many problems being in elementary school. But I would make sure it was okay to use the book and I would show why I wanted to use it.

Casey Gill

Author:  Karie Steelman [ Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

I would use banned books in the classroom only if it was necessary for the lesson. I wouldn't use them just to say I used a banned book in class and start controversy. If I was going to use a banned book I would make sure to send a permission slip and in it I would have what is controversial just so the parents are completely aware of whats going on. I plan on teaching k-2 so I wouldn't be using Huck Finn or classic literature like that so I honestly feel like I could get around using them in the class.

Author:  Megan Wright [ Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:40 am ]
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I agree with a little of what Karie said. I wouldn't use a banned book just to prove a point. However, I also agree with what several other people have said. Many banned books are banned for dumb reasons. I would use a banned book if it related to my class and I didn't actually think it belonged on the banned books list. Certain books that are on the list really don't belong there and I feel that kids are missing great learning experiences by being told they cannot read these books.

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