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Of mice and bleedin men !!

Discussion in 'English' started by mymoose, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. I can't believe this book is still doing the rounds in schools. How about something a bit more inspiring for teenagers than this drivel? Even some older books like Go ask Alice or Christiane F must be better than Mice.
     
  2. I can't believe this book is still doing the rounds in schools. How about something a bit more inspiring for teenagers than this drivel? Even some older books like Go ask Alice or Christiane F must be better than Mice.
     
  3. Don't agree at all! But then, I work with EBD, mainly boys and they lap up the violence and swearing.[​IMG]
    However, I've taught it many times in different schools and it has always kept their attention. I hope it's never retired. Classic....
     
  4. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    I'm not a fan; I try and teach To Kill a Mockingbird as far as possible.
    Having said that I can see why OMAM works. It's relatively short, there's a lot to take out of it, it works well as a "different cultures" text and for schools with ample copies, it saves money as they can be used year after year.
     
  5. I've read 'Go ask Alice'. It's an exceptional diary of a teenager descending into drug use. I've seen Christiane F on DVD although I've never read the book. The film is as about as shattering a story of self-destruction in the 12-15 year old age group as you can get. What is interesting when you read the background of both books is that the lack of information about drugs, and the lack of support for this age group that existed in the 70s and 80s is still here today. I sometimes wonder whether our very boring Of Mice and Men Curriculum does need to be made far more relevant to teenagers. I would certainly say that including these books somewhere somehow in school would be a good start and would no doubt save lives. I don't think Of Mice and Men can claim to be a life saver, somehow. I note that the Christiane F book is currently out of print but will be back in print at the beginning of next year. Meanwhile, I can recommend the Go ask Alice book. Who knows, you might just be inspired to do something a little different next year!
     
  6. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Teenagers still have to deal with issues of friendship, loneliness, making painful decisions, differences between people and stereotypes, etc. We may possibly have read it once too often, but as several contributors to this thread have said, many teenagers enjoy it hugely and it is new to them. The themes are universal and still "relevant." (Same case can be argued for Shakespeare)
    Just because something has drugs in it does not make it relevant to all teenagers. Picking a text because of its theme rather than its literary merit is just a misguided attempt to be down with the kids, when we should be opening up doors they would not have otherwise entered.
    Doesn't matter how inspired we are if it isn't in the exam spec.
     
  7. We lost a member of staff at short notice a couple of years ago, and a history teacher was given the Y10 group parallel to mine.
    She said that teaching Of Mice and Men changed her life, and that it made her want to become an English teacher permanently.
     
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17152912
    Crikey! That was well timed. So I'm not the only one who thinks that there is more to a qualification than reading a short book like Of Mice and Men, wonderful though it is. Looks like English Departments across the land will have to work a little bit harder, and for less pay, too, as Black Adder once said.
     
  9. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Well, you would think wouldn't you but actually, if the exam gets harder, what is more likely is that schools will stop entering all pupils for literature and just enter the higher sets. I know in our dept. that SLT want us just to focus on English Language and we already battle to enter all pupils for Lit, so this latest news will just be grist to their mill. Is that what you would like mymoose? It would be nice to live in a world where every child is allowed to read 'great' literature and appreciate it for what it is; in the real world of league tables, why would a school pay to enter a child for a subject they will not do well in?
     
  10. There should be more to a qualification than one book, regardless of what that book is.
     

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