The school system has included Shakespeare in their curriculum dating back to the 19th Century. How many students in the American school system are failing to learn the content being taught? Thirty percent. That is thirty percent of American students failing to graduate high school and therefore, failing to become educated. Maybe the school system is failing to teach students because, according to the Foundation for Economic Education, the same foundation has been around for 150 years with little to no change in its methods. Instead of learning about outdated books set in the 1500’s like Romeo and Juliet, why don’t we break free from the monotony of the school system and learn about where the evolution of literature has brought us today via current music and song lyrics?
For every “classic” that we read in school, I can think of one Taylor Swift song that has been deemed a literary masterpiece and can take the place of all these overworked books. For example, Taylor Swift’s iconic hit “Love Story” references Romeo and Juliet as well as another classic The Scarlet Letter while also being streamed over 14 million times. That is 14 million people who have listened to literature on their own free will, obviously enjoying it hence the large audience of streams. Moreover, the amount of references to classic literature in her songs is numerous. In Swift’s song “Invisible String” she pays homage to Jane Eyre, in “The Lakes” she gives a nod to William Wordsworth, “Happiness” reveals many hidden references to The Great Gatsby, in “Getaway Car” she ods to Dickens and The Tale of Two Cities, and “Illicit Affairs” showcases Robert Frost’s well known Poem “The Road Not Taken.” All of these tributes could easily take the place of teaching these “classics” that most people dread reading and end up googling the plot to anyway. This way, students would be able to learn about the same themes and meet the needed curriculum that the school system deems important within the classics, but with a modern approach.
For every “classic” that we read in school, I can think of one Taylor Swift song that has been deemed a literary masterpiece and can take the place of all these overworked books
Swift has won 11 Grammy awards in her life for her amazing lyricism and huge fan base which has reached billions. Her songwriting abilities are unmatched by anyone else in the music industry making her work not only relatable for a big audience but also intricately written lyrics that requires the listener to go back and dissect all she is saying in order to completely comprehend it. In one of her arguably best written songs “Champagne Problems” Swift wrote “Your Midas touch on the Chevy door November flush and your flannel cure” meaning that she was cold and a guy gave her her jacket, forget about Shakespearian language; its Swift language.
Swift has won 11 Grammy awards in her life for her amazing lyricism and huge fan base which has reached billions
All jokes aside, I am tired of reading books that are difficult to relate to and have concepts that have been overdone throughout the years. Yes, the classics are the classics and some should be read and studied. But these books do not need to be over analyzed in order to be understood. There are so many other amazing musicians, lyricists, poets etc. that create a story and message that can actually be applied to life all while using the same writing structure and literary devices that are being taught in school. So why not actually get kids interested in learning by adding the old with the new to create a revised and modern curriculum?
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