Ways of being, ways of knowing Framing pupils' engagement with literary and historical texts: Framing pupils' engagement with literary and historical texts

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

There is a large body of research within literary theory which explores conceptions of ‘text’ and textual practices. However, school teachers’ conceptions of texts and textual practices remain a relatively unexplored area. Curriculum reform in Scotland has focused on the development of a competencies-based curriculum, with particular attention given to interdisciplinary learning. This has encouraged the professional development of secondary school teachers’ approaches to teaching methodologies and learning and assessment; but there exists a current gap in the literature of the voice of practising teachers of history and English in secondary school on their beliefs about texts and textual practices in their own subject areas. This paper reports on a series of ten extensive, semi-structured, focused interviews with five principal teachers of English and five principal teachers of history who taught in schools across Scotland in varying socio-economic areas. Interpretative phenomenological analysis of interview transcripts revealed three central themes: what the teachers regarded as the purpose of their subject in the secondary curriculum; conceptions of ‘text’ and hermeneutic practices; and their beliefs concerning specific attitudes and dispositions that were viewed to be important to the learner’s developing conception of literary and historical purposes and practices. Whilst the study reported here is on a small-scale, it provides a fine-grained delineation of how a set of accomplished teachers view the purposes and practices of secondary school English and History, thereby contributing to knowledge of a relatively unexplored area. The key findings of the study can also serve to stimulate reflection and debate over the purposes of school-level History and English, providing a means for English and history school teachers and PGDE tutors to consider closely how they engage pupils with literary and historical texts, in a changing semiotic landscape, in order to develop learners as empathic readers, social critics and literary apprentices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2015
EventInterweaving: a tapestry of educational and multidisciplinary research in an international context - Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20152 Sep 2015

Conference

ConferenceInterweaving: a tapestry of educational and multidisciplinary research in an international context
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period2/09/152/09/15

Keywords

  • historiography
  • IPA
  • textual analysis
  • empathy
  • teachers' beliefs
  • ontological disturbance

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