Friday, April 21, 2006

The AWB distraction

PM canes 'rubbish' postmodern teaching

"I feel very, very strongly about the criticism that many people are making that we are dumbing down the English syllabus," Mr Howard said.

Ah yes, the old ‘some say’ routine, allowing Howard to jump on the bandwagon, without actually committing himself to a position. Give us your opinion, PM, not some weasely statement designed to give you an out, if the facts prove the ‘critics’ wrong.

Australia's most distinguished literary scholar, Leonie Kramer, yesterday agreed with the Prime Minister's criticism of how English is taught in high schools. Dame Leonie, professor emeritus in Australian literature at the University of Sydney, said what worried her was "the notion that you have to read, let us say Shakespeare, in relation to contemporary preoccupations such as race and class".

Meanwhile the ‘Dame’ suggests that because Shakespeare included race and class in his writings, they are somehow ‘contemporary’ preoccupations. Hmm.. distinguished, indeed.