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Durham e-Theses
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The place and purpose of English literature teaching at secondary level

Knight, Paul Luddington (1987) The place and purpose of English literature teaching at secondary level. Masters thesis, Durham University.



It is the aim of this thesis to trace the path of English Literature’s developing and changing place and purpose within the aim of the development of a liberal education. It will do so from the nineteenth century's time of socio-economic change, through the reassessments and confirmations of the importance of Literature’s place described by writers following the social and political upheavals caused by the Great War, through to an analysis of the contemporary situation, and to a consideration of likely future developments. The study is concerned with the placing of contemporary and possible future proposals for the teaching of English Literature in the historical context of past provision and beliefs concerning Literature's purpose, and the first part of the thesis will show how and why Literature came to have a major role in a liberal education's provision assigned to it, and how that role evolved over the ensuing decades. The second part will consider how contemporary national pressures have brought about a reassessment of Literature’s place and purpose, caused by demands for change. The agents of that change will be examined and the thesis will indicate where the traditional role of English Literature teaching stands in relation to some of the changes in educational emphasis being introduced. Finally the study will examine the implications such nationally designed initiatives and changes may have upon the provision and teaching of Literature in secondary schools in County Durham. Through survey, it will investigate how English departments are responding, bearing in mind their views on Literature's place and purpose in their teaching. It will appear from surveys and interviews that responses are complex and that actual and predicted changes may differ markedly from those expected.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:49

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