Books, censorship, and anti-intellectualism in schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Books are often the targets of anti-intellectual censorship efforts in schools for two reasons. First, they are integral to the process and practice of reading, which is how people encounter new ideas. Second, the coercive nature of curriculum means that students must read books with controversial ideas. Emily Knox argues that the people who challenge books believe strongly in the power of books, and it is this belief that motivates their actions. To combat these efforts, educators must have in place robust policies and procedures for choosing and defending curriculum materials, directly name anti-intellectualism as a threat to education, and avoid treating any single book as presenting a complete and absolute version of the truth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalPhi Delta Kappan
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • anti-intellectualism
  • banning
  • books
  • canon
  • censorship
  • curriculum
  • diversity
  • intellectualism
  • reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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