Personal and professional identities: exploring the relationship between NSW secondary English teachers' beliefs and values about literature and its role in their classrooms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Literature is an enduring and distinctive component in English education and reading is central to teachers’ conception of the subject. What continues to be contentious are the ways literature is defined and how teachers’ values influence what their students will read. This paper is drawn from a larger research study and reports 18 NSW English teachers’ beliefs about literature/books/texts, drawn from detailed interviews that were analysed critically using a grounded theory approach. The teachers professed their pleasure in reading literature, which is linked to, and evident in, the passion they invest in its teaching. However, they also experienced tensions in their professional practice that revealed complex relationships between their identity constructions, teaching and literature. The values underpinning the teachers’ beliefs and their perceptions of their professional role in relation to literary study are important to explore as our educational contexts increasingly narrow while, at the same time, the forms of reading and writing continue to expand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalEnglish in Australia
Volume55
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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