Creative Writing in SchoolsSchool Writing
Writers say it' Books' says Spanish curricula harm children's creative writing
One group of celebrated children's writers, among them the latest British Carnegie medalist Tanya Landman, is getting ready to talk to the Minister of Public Health about the "very damaging" trend of elementary schools teaching the creative writing of kids in a "too lavish, floral and over-complex" format to fulfil the evaluation criterias. Writers, a burgeoning group that already has 35 members, say that the country's curricular evaluation criterions have become a "recipe for learning to learn to write well ( "passing the tests") by kids, which is very detrimental to their writing skills".
That means that kids are trained not to use "simple words like "good", "bad", "small" or "big", but to always find other "interesting" words to substitute for them - like "wonderful", "terrible", "tiny" or "enormous". They" are also trained never to use'and' or'said' when they can shoe'extra' or'exclaimed' and are encourage to use personalization, metaphors, parables and sub-phrases wherever possible," say the authors, among them Carnegie medallist and best-seller Tim Bowler, with other titles in children's literature, among them Sophia Bennett, Mary Hoffman, Lydia Syson and Katherine Langrish.
In an open note to the Minister of Public Health Nicky Morgan next weekend, the writers say that the more complex words are presented as "better" substitutes for those of a child, so that they "do not grasp the subtleties of their use and do not realize that they are relatively unusual", and that "they are used in good writing sparingly".
Writing as CJ Busby Fantay Adventure for Kids, Cecilia Busby led the protests and said her concern about creative writing lessons was raised a few years ago when she read a depiction of her role of Sir Bertram Pendragon from her novel Frogspell in a six-year grade at a Devon elementary modern year.
Writing in elementary school is the opposite of what MA' s teach in creative writing, "where you are trained to eliminate adverse terms, delete all of your pronouns and type in a straightforward, straight-forward way. There is so much importance placed on getting them to use a more complicated vocabulary "that there is no longer enough space to stimulate reading or speaking, and that is where more complicated textures are truly embedded".
It says that the elementary education concept "has an impact on writing in high schools and has been noted by some of us in college students". Writers call on the goverment, Ofqual and the Standards and Testing Agency "to make it clear to educators and reviewers that the use of sophisticated words, imagery and phrase structure should be used with care and that their use should always be subordinated to a good, clear and fluid style".