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Here's why we teach To Kill a Mockingbird

8 1 19
09.11.2018

The Peel District School board has recommended that its teachers not teach To Kill A Mockingbird. Although the board argues that is not a ban of the book, teachers are reacting. As a retired educator with 30 years of experience as an English teacher, at both the school and district level, I have many concerns with the recommendation and with the process, as it undermines the professionalism of teachers and ignores the purpose of teaching literature.

To Kill A Mockingbird is about discrimination – racial, economic and the fear of the unknown. It is about a child’s coming of age as she learns this lesson. Yes, the book depicts racism; it does not promote it or ignore it. As all literary works depict conflict, it would be impossible to suggest that we avoid any literary work that portrays evil. The true learning behind teaching literature comes from the study and discussion of these profound issues. To Kill A Mockingbird teaches the value of empathy and understanding differences. The novel offers excellent learning opportunities such as discussion, role-playing, and historical research, allowing students to delve into these issues and appreciate them and the work itself.

The historical........

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