How to choose study texts in English: Part Two

Othmar's Trombone

In the Part One, I introduced the idea of satisficing: a decision making process that that entails accepting choices that are ‘good enough’ for purpose, but aren’t optimal. I suggested that these choices are made when selecting texts to study because we base them on the false boundary of the fulfilment of the study, or to put it simply: the assessment.

My contention is that, if we remove the utilitarian boundary of the assessment, there are greater and more powerful attributes upon which to base our decision when choosing a text to study. And, importantly, I believe that, beyond this boundary, the goals of assessment can still be met with equal – if not greater – success. (English teacher Chris Curtis has written an excellent argument on why seemingly more accessible texts “do not naturally incline themselves for analysis by inexperienced readers”, and that complex texts serve them better. I urge you…

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