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.
“Fiction and Social Reform.” Albert Spector. Central High School. Valley Stream, New York.
“This course is designed to help students experience the greater impact of a social problem by studying a related work of fiction: a play, novel, poem, short story or film. Such persistent problems in society as war, crime, racial discrimination, women’s changing role in the family structure, alcoholism and politics are a few of the subjects dealt with repeatedly in fiction.” P. 64.
“Human Renewal through Nature.” Phyllis Shaw. St. Catherine’s School. Richmond, Virginia.
“The course is a literary exploration of how man has turned to nature as a source of order, meaning, and enlightenment. Related works of art and music give the course a humanities approach. P.64-65.
“It’ll Never Happen.” Charlette Rand and Zenobia Verner. Contemporary Learning Center. Houston, Texas.
“It’ll Never Happen” tries to promote student thinking toward projected changes in human life in the year 2000. The unit is designed to interest students in the value of the science fiction genre…. Other objectives include discovering how much ‘science’ goes into science fiction writing….” P. 65.
“An Elective Catalog: A Directory of Mini-courses and Electives.” English Journal (April 1976), 59-76.