Gove Hit by Backlash as English GCSE Ditches US Classics

Daily Mail (London), May 27, 2014 | Go to article overview

Gove Hit by Backlash as English GCSE Ditches US Classics


Byline: Sarah Harris

US literary classics are to be dropped from English literature GCSEs under plans that have triggered a backlash againt Michael Gove.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men are among the American novels being ditched by an exam board, along with the Arthur Miller play The Crucible.

The OCR board said it had taken the decision because of the Education Secretary's desire for the exam to be 'more focused on tradition' and because there were fewer opportunities to include American texts on the new British-dominated syllabus.

But the decision has sparked a storm of protest, with complaints on Twitter and thousands signing a series of online petitions to keep American classics on GCSE syllabuses.

Authors, academics and booksellers have condemned the shake-up, with some describing it as 'backward-looking' and a traditionalist attempt to reinstate the idea of a 'canon' of English literature.

The Department for Education has insisted that its document about content for the subject, published in December, 'doesn't ban any authors, books or genres'.

The new GCSE course will include at least one play by Shakespeare, at least one 19th century novel, a selection of poetry since 1789 including representative Romantic poetry and 'fiction or drama from the British Isles from 1914 onwards'. Exam boards can add extra books, but experts say the rules leave very left little room for 20th century writing outside Britain.

Paul Dodd, OCR's head of GCSE and A-level reform, said in an interview: 'Of Mice and Men, which Michael Gove really dislikes, will not be included. It was studied by 90 per cent of teenagers taking English literature GCSE in the past. Michael Gove said that was a really disappointing statistic.'

Yesterday he criticised the DFE 'restrictions', saying: 'The essential thing is that in the new GCSE you cannot do fiction or drama from 1914 unless it is British.'

One online petition, signed by 2,567, states: 'Modern texts from outside the UK are equally, if not more, important as British texts.' Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman said on Twitter: 'Surely diversity in the curriculum is vital to encourage more extended reading and to expand our teens' minds?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gove Hit by Backlash as English GCSE Ditches US Classics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.