A Letter from New Jersey


  • Caroline Nickel


Introduction:  I have spent most of my life in the south central part of the United States - the heartland, the Bible Belt, the provincial, insular, backward, unsophisticated Southwest - Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.  I'm not sure that I always thought of my origins in those descriptive terms, but that is the way they are defined by people who come there to live or visit from other parts of the United States.  That is they way they are pictured by people who have never been there.  Three years ago when my husband's job opportunity gave us the option of staying in Oklahoma or moving to New Jersey, it didn't take a great deal of thought for us to choose to make the move to the East.  Having spent most of our lives inland, we considered it a real adventure, full of possibilities, to move here.  Just as Easterners have images of the Mid and Southwest, we rural types have always envisioned the East in particular terms - enlightened, sophisticated, learned, worldly, diversified, exciting.  This notion of eastern intellectual superiority was reinforced when I was a student at Texas Wesleyan College in Ft. Worth some ten years ago.  There I was introduced to a program for teaching philosophy to children.  The program, which had originated with Professor Matthew Lipman in Montclair, New Jersey, astounded me with its potential.  Now, mind you, in Texas and Oklahoma, it is not considered sound education to talk about teaching philosophy to children.  However, in the Southwest, we are partial to the idea of teaching our children to think more carefully.  Therefore, the philosophy program is called "Critical Thinking" and has been widely accepted into the public school system there.


How to Cite

Nickel, C. (2014). A Letter from New Jersey. Analytic Teaching, 8(1). Retrieved from https://journal.viterbo.edu/index.php/at/article/view/406