Why should young people study a subject called English? This question lies at the heart of this fascinating monograph, which brings together the diverse perspectives of many leading thinkers about English and literacy thinking.This meticulously researched and well-written study takes as its starting point the importance of the history of the subject in the formation of its constitution and its boundaries. First and foremost, it proposes that questions of aims and values have informed these choices. Equally, it suggests that returning to these educational questions helps us to understand curriculum and pedagogy in complex ways that a simple focus on content and methods neglects. Curriculum and pedagogy bring learners, teachers, institutions and the wider society into the debate.Building upon the long tradition of socially critical work in English Education, this book provides a timely, original and distinctive opportunity to consider responses to the question 'why English?' as well as the more radical, 'why not?'
Dr Viv Ellis is Lecturer in Educational Studies at Oxford University and a Fellow of St Cross College. Carol Fox is Reader in English Education at the University of Brighton. Brian Street is Professor of Language in Education at King's College, London.
Introduction: Rethinking English (Viv Ellis, Carol Fox and Brian Street); Section 1: How history and politics have shaped English teaching; Section 2: Culture as a verb: teaching literatures; Section 3: Language(s), multiliteracies and the question of English; Afterword: Renewing English in schools (Brian Street, Carol Fox and Viv Ellis).