Angry parents accuse school of 'dumbing down' English by showing The Simpsons in class
Joseph Reynolds was horrified when his 13-year-old daughter spent six weeks studying the popular US cartoon in English lessons.
Homework assignments included watching episodes of the TV series.
His petition calling for Shakespeare to replace The Simpsons has now gained more than 300 signatures.
But the school, Kingsmead Community School in Somerset, has defended its curriculum, claiming the programme helps students 'to become critical readers and analysts of complex media texts'.
It insisted it was merely following the National Curriculum, which requires that students study 'moving image' texts.
And it said 'many other schools' used The Simpsons to teach English...
In a letter, the school claimed that analysing the opening sequences of the Simpsons was similar to analysing the opening of Dickens' Great Expectations.
To top it off, check out this comment left by Ian McNeilly, Director, National Association for the Teaching of English:
...It's an interesting one...who should decide which texts pupils are taught? People with relevant degrees, postgraduate teaching qualifications, those who have been committed enough to enter one of the most challenging professions there is or...?
Please don't think I'm deriding your opinion - I'm not.
It's just that there is a chance that the English department at your school might: a) be more informed than you and b) be doing a better job than you realise.
Well, what more could I say to that? I'm debating posting a comment to Joseph Reynolds suggesting he check out homeschooling.
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