Sunday, December 6, 2009

Science Fiction in Schools

First, to clear the air, I am neither for or against Science Fiction, as I have very little exposure to it, which is not necessarily intentional. I suppose I find Science fiction to be limiting to some readers as it often can be rather technical or scientific; yet, this does not mean it should be banned from curriculums. However, many people want to legitimize Science Fiction and wish that it was taught in schools. Proponents feel that Sci/fi gets blacklisted and unfairly left out of high school English canonization. I'm here to throw in my opinion as to why it remains largely ignored in English classrooms.

First of all we grow up in a society where people are not necessarily proficient at their own language. One of the hardest subjects for students to pass, is their own language. Teachers struggle to get their students to read anything in classrooms. Need proof? How many of you have put on your facebook pages a joke about reading, or leave it blank? I see far too many. However, that is the very struggle teachers in high schools are faced with; what books do you teach that you hope to grab the most students attention with. Science Fiction fans need to realize their genre is competing against the best English writers in the history of the langauge; from Shakespeare to Orwell. That is hard for any genre to compete against. Teachers want to give the best representation of what the English language has to offer, and apparently, resondingly they feel Science Fiction is not a part of that. Don't be jaded, you're not the only genre to be left out. For what a High School teacher wants to teach their students, Science Fiction doesn't fit the bill apparently. As I said, I hold no bias; in fact I think it would be great for teachers to implement many different genre's, covering a broader spectrum. In doing so you can unlock the imagination of a few students, changing their lives forever. I used to hate reading, until my 7th grade English teacher made us read the Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. His book taught me that books can actually be fun, and not have to be boring or homework-related. However, playing the numbers, teachers must choose very carefully, when selecting their book selections. It can't be left out that they were probably taught the same authors they teach.

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