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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
High Scores without Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0351  Tuesday, 25 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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	Date: 	Monday, 24 Apr 2006 12:51:32 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	Alan Pierpoint <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 07:08:17 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date: 		Monday, 24 Apr 2006 12:51:32 -0400
Subject: 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare

How appalling!  Even American students all over the country do entire 
Shakespeare plays (and usually entire novels by Bronte, Orwell, Golding, 
often Hardy, Dickens, etc etc etc).

Some lower-skills classes use "illustrated Macbeth" which is comic book 
w/ the entire text of the play... Or side-by-side editions which 
"translate" Shakespeare's language into late 20th century American (but 
do so with Shakespeare on the left leaf and the "translation" on the right).

I've seen teachers do Midsummer with 12 year olds with great success (as 
in I've read student work as well as seen videos of the teacher working 
w/ the students).

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Alan Pierpoint <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 25 Apr 2006 07:08:17 EDT
Subject: 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0340 High Scores without Shakespeare

Al Magary reports:  In a review of English teaching last year, 
inspectors criticised staff for using short extracts from key works of 
literature.  Only four percent of secondary schools said they went 
through entire books in English lessons, while more than half admitted 
to teaching bite-sized sections rather than whole works.

The Holt series we're teaching from now has no complete Shakespeare play 
in the 12th grade book, despite it's being, at 1237 pages, about 50% 
thicker than the Scott, Foresman edition I started with 16 years ago. 
Shakespeare is represented by a few sonnets, three "Dramatic Songs," and 
four "Famous Shakespearean Speeches" from Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V, and 
The Tempest.  The publisher seems to be doing its best to serve many 
masters, including the "California standards" and what might be called 
literary globalism--the inclusion of texts from other cultures.  My 
students each got copies of the Folger Hamlet, followed by Pride and 
Prejudice, and after a week in the textbook, wanted to know when we'd 
read another "real book."  I took them to the bookstore last week.  Now 
they want to know why they spent all that money on the anthology.  The 
dilemma of course is "coverage" v. depth.  Bless them, they seem to 
prefer depth.

Alan Pierpoint / Southwestern Academy

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