Tag Archives: education; learning; achievement

Wildely Out of Touch with Our Teens

Hamlet and The Picture of Dorian Gray are the prescribed texts for South African government schools’ Grade 12 English First Language exam this year. As my Matric students might say, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaat??!!?”

Please do not mistake my alarm for a personal aversion to these texts. I am a classicist at heart and will defend the inclusion of Shakespeare in the English curriculum till my dying day. “Hamlet” is one of my favourite dramatic texts; dense with existential anguish, wit, dramatic irony and a great big knock-down-drag-out in the final act. I adore Oscar Wilde and am loving revisiting “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” in preparation for helping my private Matric students.  I’m chuckling away as I reread it, giving frequent mental nods and bows to the genius of Wilde and his acerbic wit. I, however, am not an 18-year old student.

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21st Century Kids Need 21st Century Schools

It’s 2016 and in many countries we’re still subjecting our children and teenagers to a school system that was designed over a century ago, to meet the needs of the Industrial Revolution.

I love teaching. I don’t enjoy working in a school; so I no longer do. I’m not a fan of our outdated, “Victorian” school system in South Africa. I don’t believe that subject-specific norms-based assessments provide anywhere near an accurate reflection of an individual’s intelligence, talent or potential. However, the Matric exams remain as the final hoop to jump through before being granted access to a world of further study, or work.

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