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Let them eat Shakespeare: prescribed authors and the National Curriculum

Ward, S.C.; Connolly, R.

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Authors

R. Connolly



Abstract

In this article, we examine the debate that surrounds prescribed reading lists in the English National Curriculum. In particular, we attempt to locate the role which ideas about heritage and social and moral values have played in constructing this debate. We begin by examining the English National Curriculum's origin in the 1980s as a conservative exercise in stemming cultural crisis, and the discourse about literature's role in the curriculum which this helped construct. We then examine how this discourse has influenced, and continues to influence, the educational policy of prescribing a list of authors and consider the assumptions that are embedded in this policy. Finally, we reflect upon how the material conditions of the classroom provide a site of resistance, or difficulty, for the officially sanctioned discourse concerning literature's role in the curriculum.

Citation

Ward, S., & Connolly, R. (2008). Let them eat Shakespeare: prescribed authors and the National Curriculum. The Curriculum Journal, 19(4), 293-307. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585170802509880

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2008
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2011
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2011
Journal Curriculum Journal
Print ISSN 0958-5176
Electronic ISSN 1469-3704
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 293-307
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09585170802509880
Keywords Canon, Cox Report, English teachers, National Curriculum, Prescribed authors.

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Copyright Statement
This is an electronic version of an article published in Ward, S.C. and Connolly, R. (2008) 'Let them eat Shakespeare : prescribed authors and the National Curriculum.', The curriculum journal., 19 (4). pp. 293-307.
The curriculum journal is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ with the open URL of your article.





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