In this session, we'll focus on "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship in a Participatory Culture.” Our guest speaker is Frances Bradburn, Project Director of NC's New Schools Project, a long-time champion for Young Adult literature and the chairman of the first Printz Award Committee. Frances speaks every year to EC 521 as a commencement speaker of sorts. She brings a full and brilliant career of experience as a public school librarian, regional library services consultant, Director of the Instructional Technology Section at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and now, Program Director for the New Schools Project in North Carolina. All the while, Frances has continued to champion young adult literature and was honored to be the Chair of the first Printz Committee in 2000. You'll also see her name listed on many book reviews for BookList when you check out this publication or google a book.

Tuesday, 11:59 pm. Earlier if possible. Layer 1: (Pre-reading) To prepare, first reflect on some of the tough topics in YA books that you have read or heard the Printz readers discuss. What was your response? What’s your personal view on the role of such books? Reflect back on any experiences with tough topics that you’ve had as a student, teacher, or parent.

Have you ever heard of the Students' Right to Read? Read specifically The Right to Read section of these guidelines published by the National Council of the Teachers of English.

Now read about how a small-town school system in Arrowhead,Wisconsin, dealt with the controversy surrounding a novel, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Steven Chbosky. What surprises, realizations, insights do you gain from this saga? Apply what you learned from the NCTE's Right to Read to compose your VoiceThread response.

Perks Case Study (see eReserves)
  • Parents Seek to Ban Book from Class
  • Let the School Board Do Its Job
  • Book to Stay on the Reading List
  • Decision a Good One
  • Book Decision Plays Role in Election

Finally, so have you faced censorship? Have you made "bold choices?" What have been the results? What are the rights and responsibilities that you have as a teacher when it comes to intellectual freedom and the student's right to read?

Tuesday, 11:59 pm, earlier if possible. Layer 2: You'll also read an article by high school librarian, Joyce Valenza, on the right of students to use Web 2.0 tools to learn. Valenza makes a case for digital equity and access for all students.
2.0 is an Intellectual Freedom Issue by Joyce Valenza

Finally, you'll see on the second VoiceThread slide a video that you'll watch to learn how three students in middle school teacher Bill Ferriter's class feel about their use of technology to share their perspectives and receive in return those of the world.

Respond to this question or a similar one that is inspired by the readings and recordings. What are the rights and responsibilities of a teacher to ensure that students not only have digital equity but the opportunity and the skills to create media?

Wednesday, 11:59 pm. Layer 3: Open Mic -- An opportunity to respond to co-learners' comments, add an afterthought, do some weaving/remixes, or raise burning question for the LIVE Class Seminar with Frances.

See additional resources on The Student's Right to Read, Intellectual Freedom, and Censorship . . . (including Book Rationale exemplar)