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ERIC Number: ED390044
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Literature Teaching and the National Curriculum. Occasional Papers, 14.
Benton, Michael
The institutional view of literature in the National Curriculum of Great Britain shows a dramatic belittlement in its revised version. It lacks a coherent literary or pedagogical rationale and substitutes a functional one in which over-simplification purports to be clarification. The institution is primarily concerned to define English literary heritage; it is more interested in control than in curriculum. For this reason, the issues of literature and learning are ignored; tests of levels of attainments are the levers of control. Opposition to Great Britain's National Curriculum could focus on three basic issues that have been the subject of advances in literary studies over the past 25 years and are either neglected or misunderstood in the National Curriculum. First, policy makers must understand that texts are no longer autonomous but are rather fluid, conditioned by the culture and personal inclinations and experience of the reader. Second, a child's reading ability is not systematic but idiosyncratic and serendipitous. Third, a prescribed canon of books is not workable. Current literary scholars regard the canon as evolutionary, subject to the shifting values being negotiated by a culture. (Contains 40 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southampton Univ. (England). Centre for Language Education.
Identifiers: Great Britain; Literary Canon