Author Meg Rosoff says teaching and learning in the UK has become ‘joyless’

The Guardian is reporting that author Meg Rosoff has condemned the government’s “assault on childhood”, saying that teaching and learning have become “joyless” in the UK.

Rosoff, the author of seven YA novels including the international bestseller How I Live Now, was speaking as she received the SEK5m (£410,000) Astrid Lindgren Memorial award, the world’s richest prize for children’s literature, in Stockholm on Monday night.

She told her audience that she had met “too many children” in the UK “who cut themselves with razors, starve themselves, who suffer depression and anxiety, who believe what the government tells them – that nothing is more important than exams. That art and music and books will not help them make money. That it is OK to close libraries and do away with librarians.”

There have been widespread protests in the UK over library closures, with more than 300 estimated to have been shut down over the last six years. The recent Sats tests, boycotted by some parents, have also been slammed by authors, in particular the teaching of writing and grammar which they say “no longer reflects what writing really does”.

Rosoff told the award ceremony: “It is no wonder that teachers in the UK are quitting in record numbers. It has become a joyless profession. Learning has become joyless as well, and students are not able to quit. In Britain we are experiencing, quite literally, an assault on childhood.”

More at: Meg Rosoff condemns UK education policy as an ‘assault on childhood’ 

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  1. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove Not just joyless but potentially dangerous, souless, meaningless, and convergent

  2. LeoToAquarius

    SchoolsImprove She has a point with Wiltshaw calling for mavericks that Ofsted&SLT drove out in favour of PM miss_mcinerney tombennett71

  3. LeoToAquarius

    SchoolsImprove miss_mcinerney tombennett71 Obsession PM targets has removed in last 15yrs autonomy from profession & classroom =#owngoal

  4. Busy Mum

    There are many joyless tasks in life and the sooner children learn that lesson, the better.
    Learning is hard work, enjoyable for some children, not for others. It is this unrealistic expectation that children should be having ‘fun’ at every moment of every day that is producing so many unhappy teenagers.

  5. gov2

    Busy Mum  Or perhaps it’s just a reasonable expectation that children should not joyless at every moment of the day.

  6. Nairb1

    You do realise that children aren’t just tiny adults do you? You do know that their capacity to benefit from the ‘joyless learning’ you value so much is limited and joyless lessons could damage their whole view of education? You do know that children’s capacity to rationalise the joyless time in school as a valuable experience isn’t the same as that of an adult?
    Why do I ask? Of course you don’t.

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