Home >  Blog >  Texts taught in English

Texts taught in English

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 3 February 2017

An edited version of the letter below was published in The Courier-Mail of Thursday 2 February 2017. Underlined words were deleted and the bracketed ones inserted. The paper's heading for two letters on school education was "Education not all textbook choices".

School English teaching

Kevin Donnelly points out (Kevin Donnelly's opinion piece pointed out) that in the OECD's 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment  (PISA) a number of countries including Canada and Finland outperformed Australia ("Classic text beats dumb txt", Feb 1).

Donnelly regularly argues strongly in favour of school choice and the alleged superiority of private schools.

It should be noted that neither of these two countries has a significant private school sector and school choice is pretty much a non-issue.

(And) Neither has a standardised testing system like NAPLAN either.

My 35 years of teaching high school English (about twice as long as Donnelly managed) tells me that he (Donnelly) misrepresents the range of texts currently taught in schools. Donnelly (He) argues for "complex, challenging and enriching literary texts". Certainly there should be such texts, but they need to be carefully selected to suit particular groups of students. Interestingly, the novel foremost in the image accompanying the article is D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" which I think was still banned in this country when I went to high school. Is Donnelly or this paper suggesting this book should be studied in schools?

Dr Donnelly is identified as a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University. It would be interesting to know what original research he had done in recent years, the sort that qualifies for publication in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. I doubt there is any.

Garry Collins

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: Curriculum matters
Melanie Ralph 1438 days ago
Well said!

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Literature Spectacular

Graham Joseph from Ryan Catholic College will present a workshop designed for teachers who are thinking about introducing Literature, delivering Literature for the first time or looking to review their Literature course in the near future. In the first part of the workshop, we will explore a framework for delivering a Literature course that c...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 13th February 2021
Venue:   ZOOM
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


March Seminar 2021: Challenge and Change: Doing things differently

We are delighted to announce that we will be back with face to face professional learing events in 2021 - usual format but wtih some important changes: the March Seminar will be a full day event; the AATE-ALEA National Conference will be held in Brisbane in July and consequently there will not be a state conference. Other events for the year ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 13th March 2021
Venue:   Iona College
Venue Address:   85 North Road, LINDUM
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000


Grammar at Hervey Bay

A grammar workshop will be held at Hervey Bay State High School to assist attendees to develop their understandings of grammar in order to fully comprehend and to effectively teach the Australia Curriculum: English (AC:E). Also highly relevant to Years 11 & 12. This will be an updated re-run of the activity conducted in both 2018 and ...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 27th March 2021
Venue:   Hervey Bay State High School
Venue Address:   56 Beach Road, Hervey Bay
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


JCU Spectacular

Join Dr Claire Hansen for a two-hour session on teaching Macbeth. We'll dive into an exploration of the language of Macbeth and teaching strategies to engage students with Shakespeare's Scottish play.  The workshop will also explore learning activities for Macbeth created by the Shakespeare Reloaded project. This session will...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 22nd May 2021
Venue:   ZOOM
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Grammar Day

ETAQ will be conducting another of the very successful grammar days on Saturday 29 May 2021.  If your school would like to host this event, please contact Admin Officer.

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 29th May 2021
Venue:   To be advised


< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

Latest News

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

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

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected