Recent changes to China’s teaching curriculum have made the news: an essay by the father of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun (188...
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This is chilling.
Bottom line? Lu Xun, one of China's most popular modern author's works are being gradually removed from textbooks.
A short yet thought-provoking read, that any teacher of literary reading might include in his or her "Informational Reading" content, this article raises many relevant questions...
"Who benefits from from the gradual loss of "Historical memory"?
"How does a gradual removal of an author's work succeed where outright bans fail?
Of course, anyone who has read Animal Farm knows that gradual denial can succeed where immediate bans fail.
I'll let you read the article yourselves, but here's a tease.
"Lu Xun himself was conflicted about the effect his voice might have on future generations. Reflecting on whether or not to speak out, he posed an analogy:
'Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers, making those unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you are doing them a good turn?'
Perhaps in the spirit of an early Lu Xun, Sina Weibo user @lvyiyao voiced a sarcastic support for the removal of his works from children’s textbooks: “It’s actually better for the children. Ignorant swine are far happier than humans who know what’s going on.
And, once again, anyone who has read Shakespeare knows that "Ignorance is bliss."
I couldn't help but be reminded of Arizona's recent decisions to eliminate Mexican-American Studies.
Who benefits? see this PBS video: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/video/need-to-know-february-15-2013/16294/
Want to test yours' and your students' critical thinking skills?
What are the best arguments each side makes AGAINST the opposing side?
What are the best arguments each side makes FOR their position?
This is not a simple black and white issue which makes it an important exercise in what critical thinking is all about.
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