ERIC Number: ED196002
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Social and Political Context of English Teaching in Australia--An Exploration.
MacLennan, Gary; Henry, Miriam
An analysis of the social and political context of English teaching in Australia is presented in this paper. The paper emphasizes that the leading theorists from England such as James Britton, Harold Rosen, Nancy Martin, and Douglas Barnes, are providing theories that either ignore or misinterpret the social reality in which teachers and pupils operate. It suggests that the reality of education within a capitalist society is not always a world controlled by decent well-meaning people who want only the best for the children in the school, but one that has as its aim the perpetuation of the capitalist mode of production with its attendant class system and unequal distribution of wealth, knowledge, and power. A discussion of recent works by Australian educational theorists points out their failure to analyze the social context of English in Australian schools, such as the back to basics movement and the linguistic insecurity of upwardly mobile lower middle class teachers. The oppressive nature of school writing, which works to further delineate class by convincing the masses they cannot write, is especially noted and is contrasted to the socialistic Freinet method of writing in which pupils decide what is to be written and own their own writing. (MKM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on the Teaching of English (3rd, Sydney, Australia, August 17-22, 1980).