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July 06, 2007

Comments

David B

Education has been 'sexed' for quite a while, but the issue of male or female teachers isn’t as important as how they approach their subject.

For example, I despised English at school because we boys were never encouraged to like it. It was (and remains) one of the Arts conflated with Social Studies. It wasn’t about literature but involved a form of social engineering, teaching us kids, from a poor working class town, the dangers of underage pregnancy and ‘gender’ issues. I spent two years studying that god awful ‘A Taste of Honey’ by Shelagh Delaney and hating every minute of it. I could never answer questions on it because it was so bloody dull. It didn’t matter that, at home, I was choosing to read Joseph Conrad, Hemingway, Wodehouse, and even Shakespeare… In school I was in a bottom set for English and came away with a grade 2 CSE. No lads ever studied it at ‘A’ level. It wasn’t the done thing. We did sciences.

In a way, ‘sexed’ education, catering to a mainly female audience, screwed up my life. It took me years to get back on track. I now have a Ph.D. in English Lit. but I have lost too many years making up for other people’s foolish mistakes.

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