Sunday, October 23, 2005

Textbook of Laughter and Forgetting

We have in the recent years being witness to numerous controversies over what is taught to students in history textbooks. But there is no discussion about what school children read in their English textbooks.

Amitava Kumar wonders about the lack of debate on what is included as reading material in English textbooks in our schools, especiall considering that these textbooks can be so influential.

Much good writing in the textbooks, for it is the power of literature, can shape the way students chooses to write and express about the world around them. English textbooks also give a sense and feel of the language.
Why is it that English textbooks, [. . .] are top-heavy with hagiographies of our national leaders? I have rarely seen letters printed in these books. There is very little travel writing. There is no space ever for quality journalism. In general, we should also be publishing more women writers.
[. . .]

Why are textbooks so remarkably unchanged even after decades?
Read the complete article here.

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