Dark night of the soul
Choose Question #1 on pg. 445 or Q #4 on p 447 at the end of the Miller essay.
In the preface to Richard Miller?s essay ?The Dark Night of the Soul?, our textbook editors tell us Miller has described his approach to teaching
in this way, “?I believe the function of a secular public education should be: to provide training in the arts of solving the problems of this world,
training that recognizes that people, who never leave their embodied histories and their cherished beliefs, can?t be revised the way papers can.”
(Miller qtd in WOR 419)
And early in his essay, Miller, thinking about the place of reading and writing in contemporary education and whether or not it can help
students face today?s world, says,
For some, it will hardly come as a surprise to learn that reading
and writing have no magically transformative powers. But for
those of us who have been raised in the teaching and publishing
professions, it can be quite a shock to confront the possibility that
reading and writing and talking exercise almost none of the powers
we regularly attribute to them in our favorite stories. The dark
night of the soul for literacy workers comes with the realization
that training students to read, write, and talk in more critical and
self-reflective ways cannot protect them from the violent changes
our culture is undergoing.? (423)
He follows this with a question, which might be described as the question he attempts to answer throughout the essay. In this question
he asks, ?How ?and in what limited ways?might reading and writing be made to matter in the new world that is evolving before our eyes?? (424)
At the end of Miller?s essay, choose between question (Q) #1 on pg. 445 and Q #4 on pg. 447 and write/create a three (3) to four (4) page
response as discussed in class. Be sure to engage with Miller and his ideas in your answer.
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