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Essay on Enlightenment of the Naïve

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Education could be defined as enlightenment for this generation’s children. Children remain in school for an extended period of time and should be expected to gain a specific level of knowledge by the end of their school career. Some use this knowledge to pursue higher education, while others may pursue technical careers which do not require further schooling. Both the knowledge acquired and how a student acquires that knowledge proves crucial to his or her future. What happens, then, when schools fail to broaden a student’s horizons by filtering the information available? As public schools succumb to a proclivity of censoring classic novels for their content, do children lose the opportunity to reason for themselves? By exposure to material charged with controversial themes, a student ascertains his or her own cognitive processes rather than to be constrained by what a school deems appropriate for a student’s evaluation.
According to LeRoy Charles Merritt of the Dean School of Librarianship, a librarian has not only the right, but the responsibility to select literature that inspires creativity, regardless of its controversial nature (11-13). He suggests that an obligation of a librarian to choose appropriate titles should reside on intellectual freedom of the students, not the librarian. Therefore, libraries should function as a place of intellectual stimulation. Unfortunately, libraries typically censor a student’s literature choice based on religious, social, and political topics that seem offensive or unconventional.
Furthermore, as libraries stifle the very crux of American culture – classic literature – the Supreme Court offers no precedent as to the standards of such censorship (Oboler 171-174). In this way, librarians...


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...r, and gain intellect and potential to possess complex thought. Through thorough examination, one could conclude that a child’s maturity influences his ability to comprehend controversial material. Similarly, if a student’s maturity is evident, a banned book should never stand in his way.




Works Cited

Foerstel, Herbert N. Banned in the U.S.A.: A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools
And Public Libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost).
Web. 28 Oct. 2011.
Merritt, LeRoy Charles. Book Selection and Intellectual Freedom. New York: H. W. Wilson,
1970. Print.
Oboler, Eli M., ed. Censorship and Education. Vol. 53. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1981. Print.
Sova, Dawn B. and Ken Wachsberger. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds.
New-York: Facts on File, 2006. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 28 Oct. 2011.


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