Education

Reclaiming the Western Canon

Reclaiming Education, a volume of essays from experts across a range of subjects, edited by literary scholars Catherine Runcie and David Brooks, was published earlier this year. It is vital reading for anyone concerned about the parlous state of education, at all levels, in this country. I concentrated, in my contribution—“Reclaiming English”—on the necessity for that subject’s annihilated disciplinarity to be recovered. An essential element in the disciplinary profile of English (which I could only refer to in passing, in that essay) is the concept of canonical texts—that is, works which would be generally regarded as necessary study for anybody…

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