Question: What can we learn from the plethora of elective courses in the 1970s?
Answer: The electives substituted specific titles for such generic titles of year-long courses as English 10, English 11, and English 12, which were often poorly defined. Many of these courses of varying lengths could be reduced to units today. Many elective courses were creative, imaginative and worth teaching.
“A Child’s World.” Leslie Melillo. North Haven High School. North Haven Connecticut. Rationale:
“Students can become more sensitive and capable readers of literature through studying children’s literature, primarily fiction and poetry.” P. 60.
“American Nonfiction.” Deborah Rosen. Pompano Beach Senior High School.
“Nonfiction is a genre often ignored and rarely taught by English teachers. However, nonfiction provides a great deal of intellectual wealth and good writing, and it is an excellent tool for provocative discussion.” P. 61.
“Doublespeak.” Lee Patton. Douglas County High School. Castle Rock, Colorado.
“Since ‘double speak’ is communication which confuses and conceals…the obvious goal is to perceive and understand this hidden persuasion and ‘blatant subterfuge….’ ” “Sample project: creating a user’s guide to euphemism….” P. 63.
“An Elective Catalog: A Directory of Mini-courses and Electives.” English Journal (April 1976), 59-76.