Podcast: Trigger Warnings and Curriculum Changes

0:00

This week, we’re talking about literature courses in the headlines recently, in the UK and in the US.

First, trigger warnings. Should universities have trigger warnings on their literature courses to let students know when texts include potentially sensitive issues? Is this treating students like babies or protecting their human rights?
Rob was inspired to talk about this after reading this article in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/19/us-students-request-trigger-warnings-in-literature

Then, changes to GCSE English Literature here in the UK. Due to new advice from the Department of Education, exam boards must now include a Shakespeare play, poetry from 1789 onwards including the Romantics, a 19th Century novel and a novel/drama written 1914 onwards. All must have been written by British authours, in English. This means popular choices from US and Commonwealth authors (Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou, Chinua Achebe etc) are no longer eligible to be set texts. Is any change a good thing? Does this mean great British Classics will be more widely read? Might students be less engaged by these options? Is it important for fifteen and sixteen year olds to experience more than just British literature?

Here are some links to articles and blog posts, if you’d like to read more…

The media on removal of US and Commonwealth authors:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/26/michael-gove-to-kill-a-mockingbird-harper-lee-gcse-syllabus?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/gcse-english-row-intensifies-as-exam-boards-drop-african-and-australian-authors-9454397.html

The Department of Education and Michael Gove on the changes:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-english-literature-gcse?utm_content=buffer7fa66&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-english-language-and-gcse-english-literature-new-content
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10857133/Michael-Gove-Kill-a-Mockingbird-Id-never-dream-of-it.html

A teenager’s reaction to the changes, for @CiaraOBraondin, “ScoutingForBooks”:
http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/may/28/why-i-want-to-study-mockingbird-mice-men-michael-gove?CMP=twt_gu
And another teen book blogger’s reaction – the great @serifinaxxx (Nina):
http://deathbooksandtea.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/mr-gove-you-are-uks-education-secretary.html

A very well-expressed blog from the hugely respected English teacher Geoff Barton:
http://blog.geoffbarton.co.uk/site/Blog/Entries/2014/5/25_Get_him%2C_Lennie.html

And finally, The 10 American writers that English teens should study?
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/26/10-american-writers-english-children-study-gcse-michael-gove

Join in the discussion on the podcast! We always love to hear your feedback or questions.
Send us an emailask us a question on Goodreads or record us a voice message! The best will be used on the podcast!

Subscribe to podcast in iTunes – Subscribe to podcast via RSS – Download MP3 – Listen on Stitcher – Listen on British Public Radio – Listen on Spreaker

Our podcast is brought to you by Audible. Try Audible free for 30 days and receive one free audiobook download. Your Audible download can be enjoyed on all iPods, iPhones, Android and mobile devices. Listen anytime, anywhere. Start listening today and discover a great alternative to that same old playlist! Try Audible for 30 days and download any Audible audiobook for free!

Episode 97. An Adventures With Words production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.