An edited version of the letter below was published in The Australian of Wenesday 5 November 2014. The underlined words were deleted and the bracketed ones inserted. The heading shown is the one provided by the newspaper.
Let teachers choose the texts that expose children to ethics
In her comments on the Foundation to Year 10 section of the national English curriculum, Institute of Public Affairs researcher Stephanie Forrest argues that more (says) classic English literature texts should be mandated (“Great writers forge minds”, 4/11).
The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority’s curriculum document does not prescribe any particular texts at all, believing that such decisions are best made at the school and system level. This is surely in line with the currently widespread belief (view) that there should be greater school autonomy. Most English teachers appreciate the professional freedom to select the texts, literary and otherwise, that they believe will work best with their own students.
Strangely, Ms Forrest suggests that the national curriculum’s 'General Capability' of ethical understanding has little place in (the) subject English. I can’t think of a single literary classic which does not involve an ethical dimension. Vicarious engagement with ethical questions is one of the reasons that literature is so important in the school curriculum.
It is perhaps worth noting that Ms Forrest’s bachelor’s degree is in classics and history and that she has never been a school teacher.
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)
Essential English: Community of Practice 2021
Following on from the success of last year's event for teachers of Essential English, we will be running this event again this year with some modifications. The program is available and registrations are now open. Venue: Deception Bay SHS, Phillip Street, DECEPTION BAY. Registrations will close on Saturday 30 October. Interes...
Grammar PD term 4
To assist attendees to develop their understandings of grammar in order to fully comprehend and to effectively teach the Australia Curriculum: English (AC:E), a further session will be held on Saturday 20 November at John Paul College. The flyer gives further details. Registration will close on 14 November. ...
This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.
ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.
I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.Read All