English Teachers Association Will ‘Decenter Book Reading and Essay Writing’ as It Addresses ‘Systemic Inequalities and Social Justice’ – Opinion

There are certain things English teachers should discourage — like traditional reading and writing.

Some are even doing it within the National Council of Teachers of English.

On April 12, 2022, the organization issued a statement on “Media Education in English Language Arts.”

Migrating from antiquated ideas, the group moves toward “increasing relevance by critically examining digital media and popular culture.”


It is important for students to examine the interplay between popular culture and digital media.

The English teacher that wore polyester pants to class was not up-to-date.

Literate, schmiterate:

It is time to stop focusing on essay writing and book reading as the crowning jewels of English language arts education.

We’re living in the intellectual era of TikTok:

As expressions that can be used to communicate and enhance professional and personal success, speaking and listening have become more valued. The ability to represent one’s ideas using images and multimedia is now a valued competency in a wide variety of professional careers in the knowledge economy. Our profession as the stewards and stewards the communication arts must confront and challenge how print media has been valued over the entire range of literacy competences students should have.

Mark Twain, Nathanial Hawthorne and Walt Whitman all had their day. Eliot. John Steinbeck. Tennessee Williams. Emily Dickinson. Moby Dick’s Herman Melville.

We’re a whale of a lot more enlightened these days.

As I’ve written before, the entire concept of American education appears to have changed. While school was once intended to provide academic instruction as well as sharpening critical thinking skills, today government schools seem to be geared towards training young people to adhere to the principles Uncle Sam favors. It will lead to a nation with many ideologically inline citizens.

Although such training can be performed against the backdrop of older-school subjects it is not very relevant to the goal.

This is the Council’s signal of activism

Through critical reading, listening, and viewing, we explore representation and power.

Teachers value teaching methods that can help identify and address the current inequalities, such as structural racism, sexism and consumerism. Learners can see themselves and others as capable change agents who are able to envision and create a more equitable world.

Concerning citizenship:

Empowering voice through writing, speaking, and self-expression

Every learner must be able communicate effectively using written, spoken, and visual communication using a variety of modes, genres and platforms. These abilities are crucial for life, work and citizenship. It has an effect on who has access and can talk, as well as who is heard.

The organization hails “critical literacy” as it joins America’s melee over the marginalized:

The curriculum is examined from a cultural, ideological and sociolinguistic perspective. Students also examine literacy as a tool for justice in disenfranchised and marginalized communities.

More social justice

Essential Media Literacy

Mass communication, pop culture and the new technologies are examined by students. This involves analyzing media relationships with audiences, information and power. They also pay close attention to media institutions that deal with systemic inequalities, social justice, and representations of these media.

The importance of formal education, both in writing and reading, was once highly valued. It is difficult to spend time doing that when oppressors are also victims.

English and literature are not as important as social revolution. Evidently even in English literature.

Though the Council clearly has more important concerns, I have a suggestion: Instead This is calling itself the “National Council ofTeachers This is English,” how about just “National Council of English Teachers”?

That way, there’s only one “of.”

Regardless, the group isn’t a one off — it’s right in step with our march to the drum of modernity.

And if our kids don’t learn to read or write so well, they’ll likely still fare fine in college:



You can find more of my content here:

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