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The English National Curriculm

            The title of my presentation is "Does the NC provide a varied and balanced approach for teaching English or is it a restrictive hinderance.".
             I want to begin by explaining why I chose this topic for my presentation. During research I"ve found that some teachers are opposed to the "rigid" guidelines laid out in the NC - a particular gripe in various forums ie TES messageboards. They argue that the NC is too prescriptive and leaves them with no freedom of choice - as evidenced by handout.
             To be fair and impartial I decided to give some consideration to their argument. They complain about the lack of choice in choosing authors saying that those selected are stilted, dry and in some cases inappropriate for the modern era. The current reading lists, long lists of long dead authors, could give credence to this claim but a cursory glance at the authors contained in these lists dispels this theory. The range of choice is vast - from Jane Austen to George Orwell. Each section that teachers have to choose from has a wide range of choice to satisfy everyone's needs. I would conclude that a rich and varied choice is found throughout.
             On the other end of the scale, I believe that complete autonomy would result in students nationwide receiving a vastly different education. The centralization of education policies has enabled schools nationwide to follow the same program which gives students the length and breadth of the country the same opportunities, therefore leveling the playing field.
             The NC framework also ensures that we don"t discard our own literary heritage. Drawing from personal experience, I felt I missed out by not studying Shakespeare in years 7 -11. It was only when I changed schools and took A-levels that I was exposed to any Shakespeare - and I felt disadvantaged because everyone else in my year had. This highlights my earlier point of everyone receiving a differing education. Instead we had spent almost two years studying American writers - my question is what is wrong with our own writers? And the NC answers this empathically.

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