There is a lot of complaints from teachers etc. to Michael Gove’s indict that the school curriculum should read Books from English authors as part of the English Literature course. One would have thought that was obvious as the course is “English Literature” . I have heard and read a lot from the Middle Class and their academic friends saying that books like “for Mice and Men” and American authors like Steinbeck are the bees knees and they seem to suggest the only way for a child to get to university is by reading these books.
What annoys me is this obsession with youngsters going to University and if you do not go you are considered a failure, yet the whole exam system has been dumbed down so that more people go to Uni and lets face it going to Uni is more about Middle Class parents bragging to their friends. This country needs tradesman who in reality will be more successful and financially sound then a lot of youngsters with useless degrees who like their parents will want to keep up with the Jones. Obviously this does not apply across the board but you get my drift and we could do with a lot more Doctors and other Professionals being English
When I left school in 1965 at 15 I only knew one of my friends who went to University the rest went into Apprenticeships or jobs where they were taught a skill. Most have had a successful life in their chosen career and some have become Millionaires. I left Westland’s with a good basic knowledge of the 3 R’s and what I have learnt since is lot down to that, interesting enough I spent fro the age of 15 to 21 as an agricultural Apprentice, then went to Hadlow College spent two years in the farming industry then I spent most of my life coaching and administering Martial Arts/Judo. This had nothing to do with my education it was a pastime that became my living.
I can only remember having to read one book at school and that was “Cider with Rosie” it had such an affect on me that I can remember nothing about it. Yet I was a prolific reader as a child and still am, my books of choice then were Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, Just William, Jennings, Agatha Christie, and Dickens. I tried Shakespeare but found the language to dated for my taste, a friend of mine said he thought Shakespeare were scripts for plays rather then a novel that seemed to make sense to me.
Things have certainly changed in Education from my days, when teachers taught the 3 r’s and never tried to indoctrinate you. Can you say that of todays education?