The Coevolution of Language, Teaching, and Civil Discourse Among Humans

Teaching is our family business. Early in the last century, my paternal grandfather, Louis French Morrison (1880–۱۹۶۱), was assistant superintendent of schools inMorgantown,West Virginia. His first son, my uncle Wilbur Yale Morrison, taught shop for many years in the Morgantown public schools. His second son, my father, Donald Harvard Morrison (note the choice of middle names) was a professor of Government at Dartmouth College, dean of the faculty, and the College’s first provost.

On my mother’s side, my aunt, Jane Gibson Likert, taught high school English in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to family lore, Gerald Ford, 38th president of the United States, was her student. Her husband, my uncle Rensis Likert, helped found the Institute for Social Research at the University ofMichigan. Of my seven brothers and sisters, five (myself included) have been paid to teach. Two are college professors, one is recently retired from teaching English at a private school in Connecticut, and another served as chairman of the department of surgery at a medical school in the Pacific Northwest.

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