Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness

Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness

Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness

Culture and Environment: The Training of Critical Awareness

Excerpt

Many teachers of English who have become interested in the possibilities of training taste and sensibility must have been troubled by accompanying doubts. What effect can such training have against the multitudinous counter-influences -- films, newspapers, advertising -- indeed, the whole world outside the class-room? Yet the very conditions that make literary education look so desperate are those which make it more important than ever before; for in a world of this kind -- and a world that changes so rapidly -- it is on literary tradition that the office of maintaining continuity must rest.

But literary education, we must not forget, is to a great extent a substitute. What we have lost is the organic community with the living culture it embodied. Folk-songs, folk-dances, Cotswold cottages and handicraft products are signs and expressions of something more: an art of life, a way of living, ordered and patterned, involving social arts, codes of intercourse and a responsive adjustment . . .

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