English Drama Media

Professional journal for secondary teachers and everyone involved in the teaching of English, drama and media. Promotes dynamic approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, and keeps the profession in touch with national debates and developments.

Articles from No. 12, October

'2 (B) or Not 2 (B) ... That Is the Question': Keith Davidson Monitors Micro-Management in the Exam System
It was on the question, for some reason--not clear--that in 2007 the QCA was minded to intervene at the first stage of the exam process: 7.1 Director of Regulations and Standards, Isabel Nisbet, raised the issue of QCA taking a more active role in...
A Manifesto for Critical-Creative Rewriting (and Some Brief Examples): Rob Pope Argues for Critical-Creative Rewriting in Literary Studies, Suggesting That It Is Central to the History of Literature, and Gives Examples of HE Students' Responses to the Challenge
Some 'classic' examples A few famous yet still inspiring examples will help set the scene for rewriting. Tom Stoppard's re-write of Shakespeare's Hamlet--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966)--is a play that systematically inverts the relation...
Back to the Future: Creativity, Coursework and Poetry at a Level: Barbara Bleiman Argues That Creative, Re-Creative and Transformational Writing Can Be a Valuable Teaching Strategy for A Level Literature Students-As a General Strategy for Engaging with Texts, as a Coursework Option, and as an Enrichment beyond the Syllabus. Focusing on Poetry, She Examines Some of the Possibilities and Benefits
Lessons from the past I was recently doing a clear-out of old books and materials at the English and Media Centre, to make space on the shelves for the vast quantities of fresh material I've been collecting for the new A Level specifications for...
Bard or Bored: In the Light of the Continuing Debate about the Role of Shakespeare in the Curriculum, Rebecca Selman Reflects on Her Survey of Learners' Experiences of Shakespeare in School
Shakespeare is an inevitable and necessary part of school activity because he is ... our greatest English writer (Newbolt Report, 1921) Candidates, particularly the less able, should be steered away from 'The Works of William Shakespeare' (all of them!)...
Brian Cox and English: From Black Papers to the National Curriculum
Brian Cox died on April 24th 2008 after a life dedicated to education; even his biography was sub-titled Memoirs of a Life in Education. His was a unique career, and his path was not without controversy. Few, if any, can have been so loved and hated...
Brian Cox, Michael Marland, Tony Adams
As well as Harold Rosen, several other notable contributors to the recent development of the English curriculum have died in 2008. In the last EDM, we spoke of the death of Joan Goody, Since then, we have seen the deaths of Brian Cox, Michael Marland,...
'... by Any Other Name ...': DCSF: What's in a Name? Keith Davidson Reflects on the Semantics of the New Acronym
Do you also have trouble in remembering the title of the new department for education et al? There are linguistic reasons for any confusion, phonetic and pragmatic. DCSF Here the problem is phonetic. The initial consonant correspondence for 'D'...
'Comparisons Are Odorous' (III.v): Much Ado about Nothing? Keith Davidson Compares Notes on Two Recent Studies of Comparability between Subjects, Incuding English at A Level
2008 saw two sets of inter-subject comparability studies: different aims and approaches; different conclusions. The QCA studies were prompted by notions of the 'soft subjects'--the usual suspects; the University of Durham research by notions of the...
Creative Writing: A Level or Not a Level? Graeme Harper Reflects on Some of the Issues Raised by the Proposal for an A Level in Creative Writing
Whenever the question of 'levels' enters the discussion of creative writing, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd heard the sound of thunder and best prepare for the lightning strike! There's good reason for this: the discussion of 'levels', generally,...
English in the News
Heads must roll over the SATs debacle The summer of 2008 was turbulent in many ways. Whilst the financial markets crashed around our ears, the education world watched a parallel disaster unfold in the world of testing. It was the sort of thing that...
Language, Literature and Creativity
Language, Literature and Creativity This edition of EDM explores the theme Language, Literature and Creativity, reflecting on some of the relationships between the elements of that trinity, and in particular on some of the ways in which forms of creative...
New GCSEs in 2010-And Functional Skills
In June, QCA published Draft GCSE Subject Criteria for English, the final versions of which will guide exam boards in the design of new syllabuses for GCSE English subjects from 2010. Consultation on the drafts ended at the end of September and final...
Primary Briefing: King Lear Knew All about the Reliability of Testing, Argues Simon Wrigley, Reflecting on This Year's KS2 Test Marking. Simon Wrigley Is an Ex-Chair of NATE and a Member of the NATE Secondary Committee
KS2 Test Marking "Which of you shall we say doth love us most?" King Lear found out rather too late that coursework was a more dependable evidence base than this single level oral test administered when ready. And he learnt that words spoken are...
Reading, Writing, and 'Doing English': Creative-Critical Approaches to Literature: Ben Knights Reflects on the Tradition within English, at School and University, of Creative Responses to Literature, and Explores Some of the Strategies That Have Been Deployed in University Courses
As I hope I have made plain, by giving production a larger role in the discipline of English, I do not mean just allowing credit for traditional courses in composition or creative writing.... I am asking for rethinking of what writing and other modes...
Studying Language and Literature at A Level: Jane Bluett Reflects on the Benefits of the Integrated Approach of A Level English Language and Literature
This year's new assessment objectives for the three English A Levels place an understanding of language at the heart of each English A Level: Lit: AO2--Demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and...
The Art of English: Researching and Teaching Linguistic Creativity: Joan Swann Discusses Recent Research into Language and Creativity, and Examines Some of the Ways in Which Teaching Everyday and Literary Creativity Can Bring the Study of Language and Literature Together
Language and creativity In February 2007, English Drama Media carried an article by Ronald Carter on the creativity of everyday speech. Carter's argument was that everyday spoken interaction includes linguistic devices more commonly associated with...
Transitions and Transformations-Exploring Creativity in Everyday and Literary Language: An AHRC Seminar Series Held at the Open University, Milton Keynes, March-September 2007
The theme of this issue of EDM--Language, Literary and Creativity--was prompted by a recent seminar series on the topic at the Open University, to which members of NATE were invited. To introduce the theme of this issue we report below on the content...