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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 664)...

    Please excuse the generalness of this question. I teach a group of 17-18 year olds at a fine arts based alternative high school in Montreal. I would like to know what Mr. Quinn has heard about possible pitfalls in bringing Ishmael to students of this age. What has he heard of that may block some students from considering these issues, and what must be emphasized?

    ...and the response:

    I'm not quite sure what might fall under the category of "pitfall." Students of a fundamentalist Christian persuasion sometimes complain about having to read the book, but I wouldn't imagine you have many such students in your school. Apart from fundamentalist Christian beliefs, I know of nothing that might block students from considering the issues raises in the book. Occasionally students find the premise of the book hard to swallow (gorilla as teacher), but I've never heard that this barred them from reading and understanding it. I'm afraid that "What must be emphasized?" is too broad a question for me to tackle here. Presumably you feel that Ishmael is relevant to what your students are studying, and it seems to me that this should point you toward what must be emphasized.


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