03 SES 16 B, Literary Education and Reading Publics
This paper presents early findings from a government-funded Danish project on improving the teaching of literature in lower secondary education in Denmark. The findings are from a systematic review and a mapping of current curriculum and practice which are to later inform interventions in the teaching of literature based on principles of inquiry-based course design. The theory of inquiry-based teaching is indebted to the work of John Dewey and Louise Rosenblatt (Dewey 2005 ; Rosenblatt 1938; see also Faust, 2011). Dewey’s work, of course, explicitly and centrally focused on education as democratic practice but also on the aesthetic as ‘a record … of the life of a civilization, a means for promoting its development' (Dewey, 2005). Rosenblatt’s implicitly democratic transactional theory of the literary/aesthetic experience joins Dewey in linking education, democracy and the aesthetic to help theorise an inquiry-based design for the teaching of literature. Such a design sees a central role for literature in the education of a ‘researchly disposed’ (Lingard & Renshaw) public. Our mapping of practice is based on triangulating analyses of interviews with systematic analyses of learning resources (Gissel & Skovmand, 2016), and ethnographic field work (Christensen, 2014). Through the study’s systematic review and mapping of practice, we ask significant questions around: • what characterises an inquiry-based approach to the teaching of literature and to what extent is the teaching of literature in Denmark currently inquiry-based? • how could such an approach inform interventions in practice in Danish secondary education and principles of inquiry-based course designs? Data suggest that the teaching of literature is currently dominated by a non-inquiry-based approach amongst teachers. When prompted, teachers express uncertainty as to what an inquiry-based approach means in practice. Teachers emphasise text-and-transmission oriented approaches informed by New Criticism and Reader-response theory, all of which imply quite different orientations toward developing a critically oriented or researchly disposed public.
Christensen, T. S., Elf, N. F., & Krogh, E. (2014). Skrivekulturer i folkeskolens niende klasse [Writing Cultures in secondary education's grade 9]. Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag. Dewey, J. (2005 ). Art as Experience. London: Penguin. Gissel, S.T., & Skovmand, K. (2016). Kategorisering af digitale læremidler. En undersøgelse af det digitale læremiddellandskab [Categorization of digital learning resources: A study of the digital landscape of learning resources]. Læremiddel.dk: AUUC Konsortiet. Retrieved from https://demoskolesky.au.dk/index.php/s/MSDespn94Eq1hvj (10 Dec 2016). Lingard, B. & Renshaw, P. (2010) ‘Teaching as a research-informed and research-informing profession’, in A. Campbell & S. Groundwater-Smith (eds) Connecting Inquiry and Professional Learning in Education, London & New York: Routledge. Rosenblatt, L. M. (1938). Literature as Exploration. New York: D. Appleton-Century
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