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On the BBC website it would appear that Mr Gove is complaining that you only need to study one novel for GCSE. I'm not sure which spec he is referrin

Discussion in 'English' started by CosmoBill, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. On the BBC website it would appear that Mr Gove is complaining that you only need to study one novel for GCSE. I'm not sure which spec he is referring to, but I do know that when I did my O-levels (back in the time of the pterodactyls), I only studied one novel (Pride and Prejudice) and one play (Henry V) - no poetry - I don't remember reading any significant poetry at school, to be honest. So my GCSE students actually have to read more than I did. I never did Chaucer at school, never did Dryden or Pope (which he mentions in his comments - I'm not sure why). Does this mean I was deprived? Or just amazingly lucky! (I quite like Chaucer, but Pope and Dryden have always left me cold).
     
  2. On the BBC website it would appear that Mr Gove is complaining that you only need to study one novel for GCSE. I'm not sure which spec he is referring to, but I do know that when I did my O-levels (back in the time of the pterodactyls), I only studied one novel (Pride and Prejudice) and one play (Henry V) - no poetry - I don't remember reading any significant poetry at school, to be honest. So my GCSE students actually have to read more than I did. I never did Chaucer at school, never did Dryden or Pope (which he mentions in his comments - I'm not sure why). Does this mean I was deprived? Or just amazingly lucky! (I quite like Chaucer, but Pope and Dryden have always left me cold).
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    The last time I taught English literature for "O" Level, the three texts for the exam (and all the students needed - no coursework) were: Twentieth Century Short Stories, "Saint Joan", and an anthology of "Modern" (it was, then) Poetry. Nothing pre-twentieth century was compulsory, nor any novel, nor any Shakespeare.
    And, of course, for English Language "O" Level nothing from the literary canon was required at all.
     
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Oops! I think my "nors" should be "ors". Sorry.
     
  5. Well, this dinosaur did two Shakespeare plays, Twelfth Night & Henry IV pt. 1, and Far From the Madding Crowd (all of which we had read in their entirety) plus some poetry and, I think (though I may be confusing it with A level) some Chaucer, for O level.
    We had also studied (i.e read all the way through) at least 2 Shakespeare plays every year since Lower IVth (Y7) plus at least one novel every year, possibly 2. Mostly Victorians - Mill on the Floss (which I have never been able to bring myself to read again, I loathed it so much), Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights (hated that too...), and Under the Greenwood Tree (put me off Hardy for years)are the ones I remember.
    We did Rasselas (is that Samuel Johnson?) for A level.
    Not a particularly broad overview of the English canon.


     
  6. Who cares what that Mr Gove thinks? As far as I can tell, he knows nothing about schools or what goes on inside real classrooms. I honestly think my Year 10s could do a better job than him - at least they know about education.
     

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