Thursday, October 25, 2007

Limited Secondary Ed Medieval Lit Offerings

One other thing that deserves mention is that I bought a copy of Prentice Hall's Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes Platinum Edition, an anthology commonly taught in Texas schools. It has no medieval content whatsoever, though it does have a few medievalist texts: a 6-page excerpt from Don Quixote, a "Morte d'Arthur" excerpt from Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and an 11-page excerpt from T.H. White's The Once and Future King. No Canterbury Tales, no Beowulf, no nothing. In order to get actual medieval literature, you have to their "British Tradion" or "World Masterpieces" editions.

So, Texans, if you're wondering why your fellow Texans know so little medieval literature, it might be because their teachers weren't given the opportunity to cover the material.


  1. I'm having a very hate moment in my love hate relationship with my state.

    Luckily, during my years in the hell they call Texas public skills I was lucky enough to have teachers that did teach us Beowulf and Canterbury Tales. My senior year a good chunk of our grade was reciting the prologue in Middle English. However, I was lucky, I went to a small school where the teachers still had great deal of control over what we were taught.

    Many Texas public schools are hellholes with some bright spots in the magnet schools and schools in very wealth areas (more funding of course). Texan seem to be allergic to taxes, even taxes that pay for schools/Teachers because even forbid they pay for someone else’s child's education. More money is often spent of the football teams than on books for the library. Textbooks are often purchased on what will cause the least problems with parents/students and cost the least.

    I'm not sure how it is in other areas of the country but by the time my younger brother was a senior in highschool most of his English books had to buy by my parents because the text books the state provided didn't cover everything his teacher thought they needed to.

    Wow, that rant went on for a bit. Sorry about that.

  2. I hadn't really intended to pick on Texas in particular -- it's just that the book I got happened to be the Texas edition.