God, my English Lit class was a waste. A real shame too, since we got to read some BELTING stuff. Frankenstein, The Road, Brave New World, 1984, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Bloody Chamber, those are are good ass reads, yo. Beyond that the books you have to read are often, at best, hideously unapealing to the age range reading them. At worst there were some genuienly awful books we had to read. Definately not the best way to introduce people to analysing art.
The entire system for art education is fucked to the absolute highest degree, but at the very least if the kids are learning about critical analysis through works they actually ENJOY. I was so lucky I got to read Frankenstein. The only full book in my English Lit education that I actually enjoyed first time, and MORE through critical analyisis. The system needs more books like that. It needs books that don’t spend ages meandering as an excuse for the autthor to show off their metaphor skills. Books with characters that people actually LIKE. Books with outlandish themes and actual god damn plots. It all sounds so obvious, but fuck me do most of the books you have to read as part of these education programs fuck this stuff up. We don’t need to keep them around anymore. We’ve come far enough to admit that some of these “classics” are trash and that there’s better stuff out there.
And that’s saying nothing of the exam systems you’ve mentioned. Fundimentally incompatible with artistic analysis. The whole systems needs a complete rethink, especially considering how absolutely nececery art education is becoming. But honestly, the system we have now would function a whole lot better if it made evn the slightest effort to engage students, and that’s probably the easiest and most attainable solution we can aim for as a society right now.
My lit education makes me angry yo.
But yeah, education is going to be the introduction to this kind of analysis to a vast majority of kids, and it’s hostility towards them definately contributes to the anti-intelectual sentiment a lot of them leave school with. At least in England.