All the Nines: Creativity in English Curricula in England in 1919, 1989 and 2019 as a Reflection of Britain's Place in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Just after the end of the First World War was published The Teaching of English in Schools (English Association, 1919). The proceedings of a large conference, it argues that the 'creative spirit' (1919: 30) is fundamental both for the growth of 'the true self of the child' (ibid) and to maintain peace in Europe.
Seventy years later, the first National Curriculum (Cox, 1989) positions English firmly 'in a European context' (1989: 58), promoting an English education where creative approaches support the development of knowledge, skills, facility with and enjoyment of language, empathy and understanding.
Now, in 2019, the current national curriculum (sic) (QCA, 2014) contains no reference to the role of English in international relations; simultaneously, all references to creativity have disappeared.
At a time when Britain is riven with debates about Brexit, this paper discusses the correlation between how the three documents position English in an international context and how they value creativity. Written from a hermeneutic standpoint, it presents each document in its political context. Without wishing to over-simplify complex issues, it questions whether the curriculum shapes or echoes the political situation. It calls for a new National Curriculum that embraces a creative and internationalist view of English.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalChanging English: Studies in Culture and Education
Early online date4 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2020

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Knowledge, Culture, and Society
  • SoE Centre for Teaching Learning and Curriculum

Keywords

  • Creativity
  • English
  • National Curriculum
  • Europe
  • International
  • Hermeneutics

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