School Censorship and Learning Values Through Literature

Journal of Moral Education 15 (3):197-211 (1986)
Abstract This paper approaches the school censorship question and its implications for learning values through literature by focusing on the incidents of a particular case, that of Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada, and by examining the attack on, defence of, and counterargument to the apologia offered for teaching Margaret Laurence's The Diviners. The first part chronicles the actual events within their political context; the second challenges the epistemological assumptions underlying the conception of literature as a reflection or representation of life, in which values are thought to be ?absorbed? by the reader through emotional engagement with a ?transparent? text. The paper concludes with a reformulation of the grounds for learning values through literature, based on the notion of literature as the construction of fictional worlds whose values are decoded by acts of literary criticism
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