Following on from my post two days ago regarding Michael Gove and his horrendous idea for the GCSE English Literature syllabus, I must issue a correction and an apology. That great sociologist and educational reformer (cough) was not saying that American literature should be banned from the curriculum, but rather that there should be… well. I’ll quote from the DfE:
“It doesn’t ban any authors, books or genres. It does ensure pupils will learn about a wide range of literature, including at least one Shakespeare play, a 19th century novel written anywhere and post-1914 fiction or drama written in the British Isles.”
This new criteria also includes Romantic poetry, which is fine- but not a great vote-winner with teenagers, to be brutally honest. The Great Reformer (for it is he) has also said:
“I have not banned anything. Nor has anyone else. All we are doing is asking exam boards to broaden – not narrow – the books young people study for GCSE.”
Riiiight. So the possibility of studying a post-1914 US text still stands then, does it? Thought not. I can see their point that ‘Of Mice and Men’ is studied by the vast majority of schools, and that many students read this and no other novel whilst at school, with very few (around 1%) studying ‘Pride and Prejudice’, for example, but- I still don’t like the approach that has been taken.
Oh- wasn’t this meant to be an apology to someone who will never ever read or know of the existence of this blog? Okay- I’m sorry that I didn’t read all of the facts first. Big slap on the wrists for naughty little me. But everything I said in that previous post still stands. And I still think that Gove is a dick.