English Teachers Association Will 'Decenter Book Reading and Essay Writing' as It Addresses 'Systemic Inequalities and Social Justice'

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

There are certain things English teachers should discourage — like traditional reading and writing.

And some are doing just that, within the National Council of Teachers of English.


On April 12, 2022, the organization issued a statement on “Media Education in English Language Arts.”

Migrating from antiquated ideas, the group moves toward “increasing relevance by critically examining digital media and popular culture.”


Students should examine how digital media and popular culture are completely intermingled with language, literature, and writing.

Your English teacher who sported polyester pants was dealing in the outdated.

Literate, schmiterate:

The time has come to decenter book reading and essay writing as the pinnacles of English language arts education.

We’re living in the intellectual era of TikTok:

Speaking and listening are increasingly valued as forms of expression that are vital to personal and professional success, and with the rise of digital media technologies, they now occur in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The ability to represent one’s ideas using images and multimedia is now a valued competency in a wide variety of professional careers in the knowledge economy. It behooves our profession, as stewards of the communication arts, to confront and challenge the tacit and implicit ways in which print media is valorized above the full range of literacy competencies students should master.


Mark Twain had his day, as did Nathanial Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, Emily Dickinson, and Moby Dick’s Herman Melville.

We’re a whale of a lot more enlightened these days.

As I’ve written before, the entire concept of American education appears to have changed. Whereas school once served the purpose of academic instruction and a sharpening of critical thought, government schooling seems to exist primarily to train young people in the doctrine Uncle Sam prefers. The end result will be a nation full of ideologically in-line inhabitants.

Such training may be done against a backdrop of old-school subjects, but the scenery is considerably disconnected from the objective.

The Council indicates its activism:

Exploring Representation and Power through Critical Reading, Listening, and Viewing

Educators value the use of teaching and learning practices that help to identify and disrupt the inequalities of contemporary life, including structural racism, sexism, consumerism, and economic injustice. Critical pedagogies help learners see themselves as empowered change agents, able to imagine and build a better, more just world.

Concerning citizenship:

Empowering Voice with Writing, Speaking, and Self-Expression

All learners need to be able to express themselves using writing, speaking, and visual representation using varied modes, genres, and platforms of communication. These competencies are essential to work, life, and citizenship, impacting who has access to conversations, who can speak, and who is heard.


The organization hails “critical literacy” as it joins America’s melee over the marginalized:

Students examine the cultural, ideological, and sociolinguistic content of the curriculum and focus on the uses of literacy for social justice in marginalized and disenfranchised communities.

More social justice:

Critical Media Literacy

Students examine mass communication, popular culture, and new technologies by analyzing relationships between media and audiences, information, and power, often with attention to media institutions and representations that address systemic inequalities and social justice.

A quality education in reading and formal writing was once revered. But who can waste time on that, when the country is comprised of oppressors and victims?

Social revolution trumps English and literature. Even, evidently, in English and literature.

Though the Council clearly has more important concerns, I have a suggestion: Instead of calling itself the “National Council of Teachers of English,” how about just “National Council of English Teachers”?

That way, there’s only one “of.”

Regardless, the group isn’t a one off — it’s right in step with our march to the drum of modernity.


And if our kids don’t learn to read or write so well, they’ll likely still fare fine in college:



See more content from me:

University Orders Professors to ‘Decolonize’ Math, Think Twice Before Citing ‘White or Male’ Mathematicians

Lady Glues Herself to the Court During an NBA Game, Because That’s How You Save Chickens

French Teacher Makes High School’s ‘Fine Arts Week’ Fabulous by Rocking the Stage in Drag

Find all my RedState work here.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos