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Censorship in education

1 December 1992


Obliterate Ignorance. Promote understanding. Practice kindness. Challenge the mind and encourage critical thinking skills. Be a person who can grow and change with a growing and changing world. Be connected. This is my philosophy of education. I feel if folks will put the above "stepping stones" into their own gravel mix, we will all fare better as we build the roads to our future. As teachers we need to facilitate critical thinking and encourage the opening and challenging of the mind; many different ideas and topics from a variety of perspectives need to be addressed and discussed. Unfortunately, there are often roadblocks to creating critically thinking students. One of these roadblocks is censorship.

In this paper, I look at four categories of censorship in the literature review (literary, educationally relevant, ideological, and self-censorship.) I then take a look at a small, rural high school to see what actually occurs with regard to censorship in the high school. In my interpretations of what I have read, seen, and heard, I find that self-censorship is the most pervasive and destructive of the four categories because it never allows the perspectives, ideas, issues, etc. to be put forth in the first place, thus, it never allows students a chance to develop the critical thinking skills which are so necessary for survival in today's ever-changing world.


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