chapter  18
11 Pages

Devolving English literature in schools

‘Non-standard’ approaches to the literature curriculum
WithGary Snapper

Following reactionary reform of the national curriculum and examination system in England in 2014, and in the light of a widening gap between the politics of England on the one hand and Scotland and Wales on the other, this chapter explores ideas of devolution, and international difference and diversity. Those ideas explored with a relation to an increasingly centralised, standardised and nationalist literature curriculum, using Scottish writer and critic Robert Crawford's work on the power relationships between Scottish and English literature as a starting point. Finally, the chapter argues that moving away from the standard structures of the narrowly defined literature curriculum can open up opportunities for teachers and students to hear a broader range of voices, and to explore a broader range of ideas about literature in society, considerably broader than those which syllabuses generally allow or encourage. One model for devolution is offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB), an international diploma for students.