Censorship, Education, English teaching, literature, Writing

Plastic Processed White Bread Text List


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Why do we teach texts? Stories? Narratives? Because they are powerful, important snapshots of life. Each story reminds us of something in our own experience that we can affirm or counter, extend or reflect upon.

What would we do without great stories? Stories that exalt and offend, render us speechless and heartbroken.

According to The Age, the Education Minister James Merlino has urged the VCAA to review the selection process for all  VCE Literature, English, Drama and Theatre Studies texts lists  and “extend” the guidelines to “ensure that the views and sensitivities of cultural and religious groups are considered”.

I understand the concerns. But the richness and beauty of reading and teaching literature is that it is about ‘real’ life. And real life can be ugly and reveal acts of evil, jealously and corruption. Good writers explore all of this and more and don’t shy away from telling a story, just because it might be hard or sensitive.
As an English and Literature teacher I want to engage students and develop curiosity, support them to think critically and be articulate. Narratives help to do that.
I don’t want to teach from a  ‘plastic  processed white bread’ text list. Do you?

One thought on “Plastic Processed White Bread Text List

  1. I agree. Literature is a subject where you explore issues that you normally would not come across in every other subject. I remember my English classes in college and high school, you would walk out thinking of the deeper meaning of existence. It was a class where students, whether they were bad or good at the subject, would get together and discuss the importance of daily issues and address them in a relaxed friendly environment. It’s sad that this must change to accommodate everybody. But, as a student of English at university now, I would hate to see what led me to study it at a higher level change for others.


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