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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: June ::
Re: Shakespeare and English Education
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0583  Wednesday, 24 June 1998.

From:           Richard Dutton <
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Date:           Saturday, 20 Jun 1998 19:52:00 +0100
Subject: 9.0561 Shakespeare and English Education
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0561 Shakespeare and English Education

If Ed Pechter is genuinely seeking an explanation of this dire cock-up,
it lies in the English (and Welsh, but not Scottish) A-level examination
system. These are the exams that qualify students for university and
college entrance. For reasons not entirely understood by any of us these
are not conducted on a national basis, but are organised by a number of
different examination boards - each of which sets its own syllabus for
the various subjects, including English Literature. So 'King Lear' may
be a set text for one board, but not for another (and some poor teacher
seems to have got his boards crossed, or perhaps just his calendar,
since the syllabuses do change over time). All of the English Literature
syllabuses contain *some* Shakespeare, though the precise number of
plays varies. And all schools can choose which board and syllabus to
submit their own students to. Which means that we in university
departments know they have all read *something* - but not WHAT.

Richard Dutton
 

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