LESSONS IN LITERATURE

Topics: Literature, Fiction, Education Pages: 95 (26943 words) Published: August 3, 2014
Comparative study into European literature curricula

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LESSONS IN LITERATURE

A comparative study into the literature curricula in secondary education in six European countries

Master thesis of:

M.G. Slager (1465775)
m.g.slager@student.rug.nl
Master of Science in Education
Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences
University of Groningen
August, 2010

Supervision:

dr. R. Maslowski
dr. T.C.H. Witte

Comparative study into European literature curricula

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Abstract
Students differ in their level of literary competence. Despite this fact, less capable students often have to read the same literary text as their more advanced classmates. To make sure students develop themselves and their literature reading skills, it is important that they read literature with a level of complexity that suits their literary competence. In the LiFT-2 project, the Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Finland and Germany aim to create a literature framework for teachers in secondary education. This framework will be an instrument, helping teachers to match the reading ability of students to the complexity of literary works. This should improve the quality of literature education and it should help stimulate students to enjoy and appreciate literature. To develop such a European framework, it is important to examine the current literature curricula in secondary education in Europe. This study focuses on two questions:

1. What are the main characteristics of literature curricula in secondary education across six European countries?
2. What paradigm is dominant across six European countries?
The six participating countries filled out a questionnaire about their educational system and literature curricula. The answers were linked to four paradigms of mother tongue education that were present in the last 70 years in Europe. These paradigms, the academic paradigm, the developmental paradigm, the communicative paradigm and the utilitarian paradigm, differ when it comes to, for example, the function of literature education. Results show that the Netherlands has a rather open curriculum, focusing mainly on the reader, marginally on the society and subject. This suits the developmental paradigm. Romania has a rather closed curriculum, focusing on both reader and subject, and marginally on the society. This suits the communicative and utilitarian paradigm. Portugal also has a rather closed curriculum, focusing mainly on the subject. The reader and society are also emphasised, causing links to the academic and utilitarian paradigm. However, the developmental and communicative paradigm seems to be apparent as well. The Czech curriculum is rather open, with a shared focus on both reader and subject. Not any paradigm is emphasised here. Finland has an open curriculum, focusing on both reader and subject. Here, the academic and communicative paradigm seems to be emphasised. Finally, Germany has a closed curriculum. The reader and subject are equally important, causing a link to respectively the developmental and academic paradigm.

Comparative study into European literature curricula

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Samenvatting
Leerlingen verschillen in literair competentieniveau. Toch moeten minder ontwikkelde leerlingen dezelfde literaire teksten lezen als competentere klasgenoten. Om de persoonlijke en literaire ontwikkeling van de adolescente leerling te waarborgen, is het belangrijk dat leerlingen literatuur lezen dat aansluit op hun literair competentieniveau. In het LiFT-2project proberen Nederland, Roemenië, Portugal, Tsjechië, Finland en Duitsland een referentiekader voor literatuuronderwijs in het voortgezet onderwijs te creëren. Dit instrument moet leerkrachten helpen om het competentieniveau van leerlingen aan het juiste niveau literatuur te verbinden. Dit kan de kwaliteit van literatuuronderwijs verbeteren en kan leerlingen stimuleren om literatuur leuk te vinden en te waarderen. Voor de creatie van dit Europese...
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