Calling all teachers, students, parents! We’re launching a new project, and we’d love your help sourcing old reading lists! If you’re curious, please read this whole lengthy post to find out more!
Here at Prudence and the Crow HQ, we spend a lot of our time working with people’s reading likes and dislikes, loves and hates, filling in gaps, adding unexpected delights, and stretching boundaries. We use a huge range of references and personal knowledge to do this, but we’re finding there’s one thing we don’t always know, and the more we don’t know it, the more interested we’ve become.
We don’t know what you read at school.
The Crow and I went to the same secondary school, although, as we were in separate halves of the year, we studied different things from each other, so we’re aware this is a big question, and that just because things are on a list, doesn’t mean everyone had the opportunity to study them, and, further, that just because you’re meant to study something, doesn’t mean you did! However, this is where we’re starting.
Further, we have little idea about, for example, Canadian school reading. We have loads of wonderful subscribers in Canada, and we’re interested in developing our familiarity with literature you might have focused on, or at least been aware of, at school. This goes for everywhere we ship to – currently the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, EU countries, Norway and Switzerland. No matter the language, we want to know what books you might have met!
How can you help? Firstly, if any teachers, parents, students have website links to school reading lists, that would be ideal. In the first instance, core recommended reading lists would be brilliant. Secondly, if you have, from any such academic place, or home school curriculum, your reading lists, whether for GCSE English, for ‘things you’re expected to read before you’re twelve’, for ‘wider reading’, for SATs, for the International Baccalaureate, for whatever exams you’ve sat, or teach, we’d love it if you could share them with us, whether typed or scanned.
Because, in the first instance, we need to narrow it down a touch, we’re looking for this information in relation to the last 30 years, so any recommended reading lists for children aged 5-18, from any of the listed countries, from 1986-2016.
We’ve set up an email address specifically for this project (and ONLY for this project, please do not send any subscription box/subscription account-related queries to this address, for they will not be answered!) – please send, either as links, Word document or PDF attachments, or in-email text, any reading lists, or lists of works of fiction those between the ages of 5-18 were/are directed to read between 1986-2016. (I know, I haven’t told you the email address yet, that’s at the end after I’ve reiterated some more!)
We need to know the following with your submission:
– Country of list origin
– State of list origin (if in a place that has states! If not, postal district or county is great.)
– Age group list is directed at
– Class list is directed at (if, say, reading list for Key Stage 3, or for GCSE Drama
– Year list is relevant to
An example would be, “1996 Wider Reading list for GCSE English Language (14-16 years old).” followed by the list of books.
We do NOT need any personal information from you, whatsoever – this isn’t about collecting individual data, but rather more general data to give us a broad context of understanding for what we do. We may in future look to do some more specific work in light of what we find out (I’m excited to see how much we have in common, and I have a few theories that I’m eager to test), but at this stage, we really do simply want to collect as many reading lists from as many years, ages, states and countries as possible!
You’re welcome to submit a personal recollection of books from school if you don’t have a specific issued reading list, as many or few as you like, an example of which might be:
1998 – Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird, Shakespeare – Macbeth, Alan Bennett – Talking Heads – GCSE English Literature
1993 – Nina Bawden – Carrie’s War, Robert C. O’Brien – Z For Zachariah, Year 7 class reading
So, if you can help with books-suggested-by-educators from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, EU countries, Norway and Switzerland between 1986-2016, here’s what you do:
Submit your reading list by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line [COUNTRY] Reading List. Delete the word ‘COUNTRY’ and replace it with the country/ies your list is from.
In the body of your email, please put the information requested above (country, state, school class, age and year), and, of course, don’t forget to attach/include the reading list!
In due course, we hope not only to improve what we do, but to share our findings, write up some interesting bits and pieces, and widen the discourse about reading in education. We have a few ideas for follow-up questionnaires and so on, but one step at a time!
Finally, if you could share this post, we’d greatly appreciate it – we’re looking for as wide a selection as possible. You can also see and share this post on our Facebook page – as you know, Facebook has a very special way of choosing how visible things are, so every like and share contributes to the success of this project!
Thanks for reading, and, if you can, for helping! We’re looking forward to finding out more! ~Prudence (and the Crow)