Autumnal colours.

I wonder how Shakespeare would describe this scene. I bet he would use lots and lots of vowels…. This set me off thinking about school. What would Bill think about how his plays are taught in some schools these days. Initially he might be a tad chuffed that his words are still being read. Once he had got over that feeling, then what would he really think of how the plays are being used.

When I was at school with the dinosaurs, we would read the Shakespeare plays together as a class and then act out the scenes. I remember doing a rather excellent snotty nosed version of Lucentio. The teachers tried to make the learning fun and interactive. As a kid I shouldn’t have really liked Bill’s plays, but I actually did. School did it’s job.

Fast forward to Hawklad’s schooling and wow it’s changed. Shakespeare is still taught, just so very differently. The fun has gone… Now it’s about parrot learning key quotes. It’s about memorising the metaphors, the juxtapositions, the oxymorons, the alliterations. It’s not about acting the plays out, enjoying them, that’s all replaced by being told what to think about the plays. The work is so very often, repetitive, writing sections of the plays out, word for word. Then writing out the comments the teacher has scrawled next to the text. Then doing the same thing, over and over again. Got to get those words into the child’s head. Got to get the one approved interpretation memorised. They never ask what the pupil thinks about the play, just what the pupil can remember from the set model answer. In too many subjects Hawklad has been marked down for expressing his own opinion. Its not interactive learning, it’s more like brainwashing. Is it me or is schooling going backwards in the UK.

Deep sigh…..

I’m not sure Bill would be that impressed as well……

53 thoughts on “Shakespeare

  1. Hopefully, Bill would be withdrawing his plays and poetry from being used as propaganda for whatever use the current British education system makes of it. Education has become a political tool in many parts of the world, and I find this disgusting.
    Having said that, I did not get an A in Shakespeare in university because I was constantly at odds with my prof. He tried to teach Shakespeare as if Bill intended it to be studied in school, not as entertainment for the masses. Still, I earned an A on every paper I wrote or test I took. When I approached my prof after the course ended to see why my final mark was a B+, ruining my 4.0 average, he actually said to me, “”You did not learn what I was teaching.” Before I could challenge his mark I ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks, and was unable to return to university for years. He would have fit right in with your government’s purpose, brainwashing students to fit into the cogs of the machine.
    Hawklad deserves better.


  2. “Beware the ides of March” indeed. I loved acting out the plays in school.

    My favourite memory was doing the Stanley part in A Streetcar Named Desire for senior year high school and the guy I had a crush on played Blanche. 😂

    Hawklad is missing out and it’s a shame! Maybe you and him can do some homemade theatre! Come on, Gary. We know you got a soliloquy or two in ya!


  3. This sounds like the complete opposite of how the school developed over here. We were the ones with no fun, just repeating and learning what we were told. Today the kids are going out and getting to the subject of what they are currently talking about in different ways – also fun ways.


      1. So, if it comes that far, let me know. And who knows, maybe there is another task waiting for you… Perhaps you can initiate that change. Just a spontanteous thought.


  4. There’s only one, small yet significant error in your thoughts, which otherwise perfectly echo my own.
    In 2010, when I left of sad life necessities a successful Eastern European teaching career behind, I could have decided with a QTS, to teach in any UK school. I didn’t, because even then, what I have studied and practiced for over a decade in my classrooms, already made me feel like a last dinosaur, gasping for his last breaths.
    Because, and now we returned to your error, “schooling has gone backwards in the UK.”
    Deep sighing beside you…


  5. I don’t know about English education anymore. When I was there in the remote past we were required to think. Then I came to the States and the only requirement seemed to be able to make a lucky guess as all tests were multiple choice answer sheets. Being able to memorize and parrot doesn’t seem the best way to develop of young mind.


  6. Schooling is definitely going backward, and sadly, I do not see it changing anytime soon for the better. I worry about the kids now, but what will it be like for the next generation? It’s a scary thought.


  7. Really struggling with my youngest and GCSE year, particularly English. It’s a worry that’s for sure. He’s dyslexic, or so we and his tutor think but school day they can’t assess or diagnose him and it’s now too late to sort out 20 minutes more in his exam etc. If they’d listened 5 years ago we might not now be in this position. It’s sad 😞


  8. I love the photo of the trees. ❤ Look at those colours! One day I would like to study Shakespeare, but right now school has got me studying Windows 10…. What I would give for a metaphor or an alliteration now. 🤣😂🤣😂🤣 Computers are so boring…

    If only we could see you performing Shakespeare. Now that wouldn’t be boring. 😃


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