I’ve slowly made a discovery over time. Modern and post-modern artists can often make a great show of why they create art and the substance of it—ideally things that promote sales and highlight the uniqueness of the work. However, when you get to popular creativity, a little more of the true heart and motivation emerges.
Editor's Note: Created and written by Peter Morgan (the award-winning screenwriter of The Queen), The Crown, an original drama from Netflix about the life and times of Queen Elisabeth II, has become something of a smash-hit, a success with critics and viewers alike. Rich with resplendent detail, magnificent performances, and the pathos offered by real-life, it's a moving tribute to one of the seminal figures of our times. It's respectful but avoids pandering, honest without being indulgent, and dramatic while avoiding undue embellishment.
Schools in Accomack County, Virginia have removed Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from classrooms and libraries because of racist language. Superintendent Warren Holland confirmed the decision after a parent filed an official complaint because her son, who is biracial, read Huck Finn for class and claimed that he “couldn’t get past a certain page in the novel in which the N-word appeared multiple times.”
I know how he feels. This young man understands literature, at least for now.
Few vocations offer as much closure with as little completion as does schooling. Teachers, students, and administrators are forever bumping up against conclusions: the end of the lesson, the week, the unit, the quarter, the semester, the academic year, high school, the bachelor’s degree, then the master’s or doctorate—all observed with due ceremony, ranging from the ritual recitation of “Have a good weekend!”, to the gathering of an all-school assembly, to the donning of academic regalia for a university convocation.
How ought reading be taught? Notice that the question asks “how ought” not “how can”. The question bears a subsequent inquiry: what should my students read? One technique I have grown increasing aware of is children sitting in small groups reading little paperback pamphlets about animals, the seasons, plants, and daily life bearing lots of pictures and few words. Another characteristic of these pamphlets is that they are “graded”. That is, they are leveled from easy to hard by use of a number or alphabetic code.