More Educational Folly

08 Dec
To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days back I posted on a textbook I found. “The Garden in the Wilderness”  explored the themes found in the first few books of the Bible and how they have influenced the literature of Western civilization. It was from the 70s, and I wondered if schools would even use such a text today.

Well, it turns out our schools are going to be using even less literature now. If this article in The Telegraph is correct, our children will be exposed to fewer works of fiction. It seems such works as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Catcher in the Rye” (which I am not a particular fan of, by the way) will be replaced by what are being called “informational texts.” These new texts could explore such things as proper insulation levels and invasive plant species. Wow.

The change will supposedly happen by the 2014 school year. The reason for the change is that schools want to better prepare students for the work force.

Is that what we as a culture view education as being about?. If so, we are in worse trouble than I thought.

Any thoughts out there?


Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Education, Reading, Worries


Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “More Educational Folly

  1. jubilare

    December 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    My first thought is that this is unlikely… the library community would already be up in arms (we’re talking torches, pitchforks and trebuchets), and they aren’t.

    I’m all for more nonfiction in our academic diet, but naturally not for cutting back literature. We need to be adding to what kids learn, not sacrificing a portion of the little they are already offered to offer something else. We need to realize that our children must be challenged in order to succeed!

    As a side-rant… And I think EVERYBODY needs to be educated, at least a little, about exotic invasive plant species. What is happening right now is catastrophic, and likely beyond reversal. I go for a walk in the woods, and Instead I find a wasteland of tree of heaven and amur honeysuckle… so much for wildlife, so much for wildflowers, so much for variety and surprise. For the few of us who know an hickory from a mimosa, or a trumpet vine from euonymous, it is clear we are losing a war that very few people even know we should be waging.
    Plant native, my friends. Yes, I know the exotic monsters you see in the nurseries are very pretty, but there are native plants that are far prettier AND adapted to your yard. The furry critters and birds will thank you, in their own ways, and we might keep some of our native species for a little longer until the invasives become the only plants we ever see. So, if we can get information on exotic invasives into schools, I am all for it. Surely we can teach the basics of this issue as well as a good foundation in the literary canon.

    • Rob

      December 12, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Note to self: never use the words “invasive” and “plants” in a post that jubilare may read.

      Alrighty then! I agree that invasive plant species are a problem. I just think they could inform students during a biology or other science related class instead of using time from an English class. Students are being cheated as it is.

      As for the veracity of this article, I admit I didn’t investigate it first. I may just dig into it a bit more, but I think it’s very plausible and typical of the way bureaucrats think. And even if some teachers and librarians were up in arms, do you think we’d even hear about it?

      Once again you make thought occur. Always welcome!

      • jubilare

        December 12, 2012 at 1:26 am

        Plants… I love plants! I even love the exotic ones when they are back home in the places they belong, or else aren’t invasive. However, I have been known to become suddenly “floricidal” and attack certain plants. Not that it does a lot of good unless I happen to be armed with poison-ivy-grade roundup. 🙂

        Indeed. Only Literature belongs in literature class.

        I think it’s more probable that it is a local bone-headed decision than a national one. Not because our national bureaucrats aren’t capable of that level of stupidity, but because I’d have expected to hear buzz. Most citizens probably wouldn’t hear about teachers and librarians being up in arms, but I would. I’m a librarian. I will poke around and see if I’ve missed something, though.

        *chuckles* likewise!


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