Thursday, February 17, 2011
Stifling High School English Class
I have an article in today's Age newpaper in response to a piece that appeared yesterday. I appreciate that teen suicide is a serious and sensitive issue, but I am very troubled by suggestions that the already small pool of literature that is deemed acceptable for teaching in high schools would have to be vetted by people who aren't education professionals. The obviousness of why this is troubling is indicated by the child psychologist in the original article proposing that Phillip Gwynne's Deadly, Unna? (a Children's Book Council of Australia award winner) wouldn't make his cut because of the sexism depicted. Yes, let's remove all books from the curriculum with anything to say, or critique to make about society (because there is a lot wrong with the world, isn't there?) and watch kids become disinterested in reading as they are only allowed to read "acceptable" and potentially bland young adult literature that meets the expectations of a committee, then a psychologist.