Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Topic: Teaching Machiavelli's The Prince.

10-second review: Why teach Machiavelli’s The Prince (or any classic piece of literature)? It stretches the students’ minds.

Title: “Teaching Machiavelli, or How I Learned to Love The Prince.” Alan E. Miller. English Journal (March 2010), 72-75.

Quote: “So why should one teach Machiavelli’s The Prince? It incites students to reach…. It both activates and stimulates their store of background knowledge. It forces all students to read carefully and critically. It invites them to look closely at the worlds they inhabit. In addition, they gain a framework to help them understand social dynamics—not only on the political battlefield but also in school, in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships. Machiavelli’s master work also introduces one of the enduring philosophical questions: Do the ends justify the means?”

Comment: Something like his justification for reading The Prince should be required of every teacher who plans to teach a classic or any work of literature. It is one of the best set of reasons for reading a work of literature that I have ever read. RayS.

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