The Art of Teaching Secondary English: Innovative and Creative Approaches

By David Stevens; Nicholas McGuinn | Go to book overview

4

The challenge of 'instrumental rationality'

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 65)

Perhaps the most pressing attack upon the Romantic position is the one voiced by my pupil Alan in that GCSE lesson on Tennyson's Mariana described in the previous chapter - the plea for what Jürgen Habermas described as 'instrumental rationality' (Habermas 1970). Alan did not want to read Victorian poetry anymore because he regarded its concerns and its discourses as irrelevant to the concerns and discourses of the working adult world he was about to enter.

Alan is in powerful company. In 1976, the then Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, initiated what was to become known as the 'Great Debate' on education when he called the service to public account: 'I take it that no one claims exclusive rights in this field [of education]. Public interest is strong and legitimate and will be satisfied. We spend £6 billion a year on education, so there will be discussion' (Callaghan 1976:332).

Callaghan's words offered an implicit threat to the Romantic educational agenda and its quasi-religious belief in the powers of the liberal arts to restore and even transform the social fabric. Proponents of that agenda had, for over a century, demanded teachers of exceptional spirit and personality. In the words of the nineteenth-century educationalist, Henry Sidgwick, the 'schoolmaster' was to be nothing less than a 'missionary of culture' (Sidgwick 1868:106). The burden of expectation was placed most heavily upon English teachers. As Mathieson puts it:

At every stage of the subject's growth, during which new hopes have been invested in it as a liberalising force, fresh demands have been made for inspirational teachers. In response to what they have seen as a worsening cultural crisis, educationalists have recurrently called for exceptional teachers to face unsympathetic conditions in the schools and the 'forces' of modern urban society.

(Mathieson 1975:12)

-73-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art of Teaching Secondary English: Innovative and Creative Approaches
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction vii
  • 1 - The Arts of English Teaching 1
  • 2 - Romantically Linked 29
  • 3 - Romantic Words and Worlds 51
  • 4 - The Challenge of 'Instrumental Rationality' 73
  • 5 - Taking the Mind to Other Things 95
  • 6 - Romantic Culture and the Intercultural Imperative 117
  • Notes 141
  • Bibliography 143
  • Index 151
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 153

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.