It’s taken me a long time (probably far too long!) to work out just how much support novice students need in producing a piece of writing. The cognitive load of even simple writing is huge when you consider all of the elements required
Education, in a system with limited time and resources, along with a list of competing purposes cannot hope to completely make up for the advantage that some students are born into.
Of the many debates that have been had in the English office throughout my career so far, the discussion on whether it’s useful to show a film version of the texts we are studying has been one of the most frequent.
The twentieth century shift towards individualised, skills-based education systems has resulted in the stagnation of student outcomes.
It would be great to get some discussion going along the way! If you see something that chimes with you or have a burning desire to challenge the way I'm doing things please do contribute to the comments. I'm all ears and always looking for ways to improve the deal I give to my students!
By introducing students to key aspects of the context, we help to minimise cognitive load by reducing the amount of information a student is wrestling with at any one time, making the text seem more familiar when they do encounter it and, at the same time, allowing students a chance to experience the joy of making links as we read.