The Wild Child

In the French countryside in 1798, farmers catch a glimpse of an unusual creature: a young boy (Jean-Pierre Cargol) who has spent his first twelve years living in the wild. He is placed with Dr. Jean Itard (played by Truffaut), who sets out to civilize the boy, educating him in the world of things and the language that gives them meaning. Based on a true story, this remarkable film captures that moment when a wild, self-reliant life confronts human language, community structure, and sociability. Utilizing techniques that are at times caring and at others, cruel, Itard lays out the underlying tenets of our educational system; unfortunately, he is more interested in teaching learning than in teaching living. Like Itard's pupil, modern-day students have been impacted by teaching methods whose goal is to engender compliance over creativity. Yet, in college and in later life, we must relearn learning in order to become purposeful and self-motivated. We invite you to participate in a candid discussion about The Wild Child and about your own experience of learning the language of higher education.

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