Date: Thu, 3 Mar 1994 11:04:20 CST

From: Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU

Subject: No subject given

I am posting this message to 2 overlapping groups.

NCTE received a query they passed on to me, and I'm asking for ideas

on how to respond.

A parent of an Ohio 5th grader called NCTE to ask how best to deal with

his son's English teacher. The teacher had students play a grammar

game in which they were asked to sort cards with nouns on them into

baskets labeled person, place, and thing. The child in question, who

had been educated in India before coming to Ohio, had been taught that

nouns named persons, places, things, and animals. He had further been

taught that all life on earth was continuous, that there was no distinction

to be made between humans and animals in a spiritual sense.

Thus, confronted with the card "horse," the child thought, it's not

a place and not a thing, so it has to be a person. Blaaap! Wrong!

goes the teacher, gives the grade conscious kid a "C," and inflames the

parent enough to call NCTE to complain.

I've got a few ideas about what to say (including, "Give it up." But

I'd like to open the question up before responding.

Reply to the list or personally.



debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (\ 217-333-2392

\'\ fax: 217-333-4321

Dennis Baron \'\ ____________

Department of English / '| ()___________)

University of Illinois \ '/ \ ~~~~~~~~~ \

608 South Wright St. \ \ ~~~~~~~~~ \

Urbana, IL 61801 ==). \ __________\

(__) ()___________)