Opening Activity

Think of a group or person you consider to be "disadvantaged." How did this perception arise? How could your perceptions be changed?

Discussion Questions

  1. Who are the "children" Ellison discusses in his lecture?
  2. What role does Ellison see imagination playing in education and society? In what ways does he see it being deprived or quashed?
  3. According to other critics discussed by Ellison, what does it mean to be "culturally deprived"? Why does Ellison believe there is no such thing as a "culturally deprived" child?
  4. What does Ellison mean when he requests to be taught "that which is real to me" and "a way into the larger society"?
  5. What is a "first-class "imagination"? How is it found? How is it fostered?
  6. What role does language play in making assumptions? What do we assume about others based on how they use language?
  7. What is culture? How is it informed by schools? By life outside school? By language?

Closing Activity

What is one question this piece has raised about what it means to be disadvantaged in our society?

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