NCTE Principles for Intellectual Freedom in Education
All students have the right to materials and educational experiences that promote open inquiry, critical thinking, diversity in thought and expression, and respect for others. Denial or restriction of this right is an infringement of intellectual freedom. Toward this end, NCTE encourages school communities to generate, implement, and follow policies and procedures for defending intellectual freedom at the classroom, institution, and system/campus levels to limit and/or address attacks on free expression. Read more . . .
The materials below have been identified by teachers as most useful in preventing and combating censorship.
Students' Right to Read
Gives model procedures for responding to challenges, including "Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of a Work."
Guidelines for Selection of Materials in English Language Arts Programs
Presents criteria and procedures that ensure thoughtful teacher selection of novels and other materials.
Rationales for Teaching Challenged Books
Rich resource section included table of contents of NCTE's Rationales for Commonly Challenged Books CD-ROM, an alphabetical list of other rationales on file, the SLATE Starter Sheet on "How to Write a Rationale," and sample rationales for Bridge to Terabithia and The Color Purple.
Guidelines for Dealing with Censorship of Nonprint Materials
Offers principles and practices regarding nonprint materials.
Defining and Defending Instructional Methods
Gives rationales for various English language arts teaching methods and other defenses against common challenges to them.
Sherman Alexie tells us "Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood"
Isabel Allende writes a letter to defend her book The House of the Spirits
Judy Blume has some "Good Words" to share.
Chris Crutcher tells us "How They Do It"Read more . . .
NCTE's Support for the Students' Right to Read
NCTE actively began fighting censorship in the 1950's. McCarthyism spurred NCTE to take a more active stance against censorship and, in 1953, NCTE's Committee on Censorship of Teaching Materials published Censorship and Controversy, condemning McCarthy's tactics and championing freedom of thought. In 1962 NCTE published its seminal intellectual freedom guideline The Students' Right to Read, that led to today's active Anti-Censorship program which works with 60-100 educators and school districts a year on challenges to texts used in classrooms. Over these years the Council has voiced its opposition to censorship and promoted intellectual freedom as portrayed in this video clip from the NCTE Centennial Film.
Read more . . .