Teachers buying lots of Ayn Rand for the classroom
This past school year saw a 30 percent increase in classroom requests for Ayn Rand novels from the Ayn Rand Institute.
According to an article in Education Week, high school teachers requested over 400,000 copies of Ayn Ryan’s novels for the 2011-2012 school year through the Ayn Rand Institute’s Books to Teachers program. The institute says that this is a 30 percent increase in demand from the year before.
Ayn Rand's novels support her ideological standpoint that capitalism is the best economic system possible and that individuals must follow their own self-interest. Her arguments are controversial – to say the least – and should have the potential to spark lively debate in classrooms. Her novels include "The Fountainhead," "Atlas Shrugged," and "Anthem."
The Ayn Rand Institute reports that it has given out over 2.5 million copies of Rand’s novels and that close to 65,000 high school classrooms have taught one of her novels since it began the Books to Teachers program in 2002.
Through the institute, teachers can receive Rand’s books without cost if they agree to teach them. Additional promotion includes annual high school essay contests that ask students to grapple with Rand’s ideas and the themes in her novels. According to Education Weekly, 29,000 students, a record high, participated in the essay contest last year.