SATs tests will harm next generation of writers, says Society of Authors

The Guardian is reporting a warning by the Society of Authors that the way writing is being taught in schools will adversely affect the next generation of creative writers.

Children’s authors are warning that the “restrictive” way children in England are being taught writing in school will affect the next generation of novelists, biographers and poets.

In a statement released by members of the Society of Authors who write for children and for education, they condemn current government policy on the teaching of writing and grammar. They say the government has intervened too far and that “the resultant teaching no longer reflects what writing really does”.

The Carnegie medal-winner David Almond, author of Skellig and a former teacher, added that children “instinctively know [that language] is a fluid, flexible, beautiful thing”, and that they “learn how to talk, to sing, to converse by falling in love with language, by delighting in their own skills, by sharing and exploring those skills with others”.

Current government policy, Almond said, “interferes with this process”. 

“We do our children great harm by insisting too early that they analyse and explain exactly what they are doing. Such an approach is deeply pessimistic,” he said. “Why do we not trust, celebrate and encourage the natural human ability to explore, celebrate, enjoy and control language? Why do we want to tell our children that they are wrong and that they fail? Why do government ministers think they know more than teachers who have devoted their lives to the education of the nation’s children?”

More at: Sats tests will harm next generation of writers, says Society of Authors

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  1. alfnelson63

    SchoolsImprove Don’t forget SATs are only testing the wrong curriculum – that needs to be changed first.

  2. jackiecassell

    SchoolsImprove tho need to put this in context that disproportionate number will come from private schools, #SATS or not

  3. abbyaug

    SchoolsImprove KateMrsnash I think that it is already harming it-they are concentrating on what to include to the detriment of the story.

  4. StephenMcChrystal

    In my last few years of teaching year 6, I had a real momentum going with writing. This was fuelled by both the children’s and my desire to be writing adventurers. But by this time, (2012) it was being regarded as needless by significant others within the staff.

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