Chapter

Will Teachers Bear Scrutiny?

Christopher Hilliard

in English as a Vocation

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695171
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949946 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695171.003.0005
Will Teachers Bear Scrutiny?

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Teaching was the most popular profession among Leavis's students, and many teachers who did not know him personally were stimulated or emboldened by Scrutiny and Leavis's books. Leavis's critical approach was most directly translated for school use in the practical criticism exercises that became common in sixth forms, largely as a result of Denys Thompson's efforts. The movement's influence in schools was often at the level of overarching vision rather than specific teaching methods. Those visions were diverse, even contradictory: Scrutiny ideas informed both David Holbrook's programme of creative writing and self-exploration and G. H. Bantock's campaign against ‘progressive’ education. Although the most active organizers of ‘the Scrutiny movement in education’—Thompson, Holbrook, Raymond O’Malley, Frank Whitehead, and Boris Ford—were commonly identified with ‘progressive’ trends, it was the triumph in the 1960s of progressive ideas, with their linguistic rather than literary premises, that marginalized Scrutiny currents in secondary education.

Keywords: David Holbrook; Geoffrey Herman Bantock; Frank Whitehead; Denys Thompson; John Dixon; creative writing; secondary modern schools; comprehensive schools; grammar schools; Black Papers

Chapter.  15162 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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