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)
|Tags: Curriculum matters|
National Conference, Melbourne
The AATE National Conference will be held in Melbourne from 30 November to 3rd December. The theme is My story flows in more than one direction: power of story, politics of voice. The program is available here; visit the conference website Early bird registration closes on 20 September. A range of prices includes $550 for personal mem...
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