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Pirates in Elementary School “questionable”

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Spiegel survey: More than 90% have no objections against pirate grandpa's in benchmark tests (on Friday noon)

Spiegel survey: More than 90% had no objections against pirate grandpa's in benchmark tests (on Friday noon)

Germany’s Elementary School Association isn’t fundamentally against the nationwide benchmark test’s subject on Tuesday, which was about a pirate-grandpa. But Horst Bartnitzky, the association’s chairman, believes that it was debatable, because the topic benefitted boys who were more interested in pirates. Mr Bartnitzky just wants to ask questions: is it OK to have students read a story where soap bubbles are fired from a cannon, pirates polish their peg legs and pirate grannies make pullovers of sailors’ yarn? Bartnitzky thinks that it is questionable and asks his question: shouldn’t use of such a story be out of the question (“Verbietet sich das nicht?”).

Scientists from Koblenz – those who devised the objectionable benchmark test – try to alleviate his worries: girls had queued up to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, they say, although they concede that may have more to do with Johnny Depp than with the genre.

To avoid more quarrels next time, may I suggest that the old yarn about pirate grandpa won’t excite too many kids anyway? I recommend Alexander Kent’s Bolitho series.  Also great stuff for parents and teachers. It may keep you sane on the train, and on stupid seminars, or after stupid benchmark tests. Politically correct, Bolitho ***** pirates in Command a King’s Ship.

Being an educationalist, I’d like to add something of (hopefully) uncontested literary merits, too: C. S. Forester’s Hornblower stories. There may be something for certain teachers to learn from H.M. officers.

Besides, ban Treasure Island. John Silver, a vile pirate, looks far too good there. And his accomplices far too pitiable.


Written by taide

May 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

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