ERIC Number: ED449189
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Do the Humanities Contribute to Education? No. 75.
The focus of this article is whether pure literature can contribute to education. As part of the study of modern literature in Swedish upper secondary school, novels about the future were examined, especially some that take a critical position toward modern civilization. In an experiment using the Perspective Text Analysis approach of B. Bierschenk and I. Bierschenk (1993), a master text was chosen that had shown the theoretically rooted dimensionality of "futurism" as a socially valid concept. Students (18 year olds) were given the task of writing about a novel using concepts from the master text, focusing on "public morality" for the analysis. The hypothesis tested was that a novel writer contributed to the edification of the public only if he or she translates some structural dimension in an ongoing process of civilization. To this translation is attached the sense of public morality. The three novels studied were "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley (1932), "En levande sjal" ("A Living Soul") by P. C. Jersild (1980), and "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood (1985). The study found that when the students' responses were matched against the master structure, only one of the three novels, Huxley's "Brave New World," met the criterion of being educational with respect to futurism. It contributes to education by mediating an ideology behind a civilization process with a sense of morality. (Contains 18 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Copenhagen Univ. (Denmark). Competence Research Centre.; Lund Univ. (Sweden). Cognitive Science Research.
Identifiers - Location: Sweden