Academic Freedom: A Classroom Exercise

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A 6-8 day secondary level social studies unit explores censorship in education through a variety of activities. Students participate in a preassessment poll measuring their opinions on academic freedom, answer a questionnaire entitled "What do you think?" concerning local school board and community powers, rank a list of possible teacher activities on a scale from acceptable to unacceptable, and watch the American Library Association film entitled "The Speaker." These activities are accompanied by discussion and analysis questions. A critical reading on student rights concludes the unit. Nine student projects suggested for evaluating the unit include a community censorship poll; a research/opinion paper; an interview with a school official, news editor, or lawyer; and a report on the American Civil Liberties Union. (LP)