Introducing a multi-cultural dimension into the study of literature at secondary school level

Vogel, Sonja (1996) Introducing a multi-cultural dimension into the study of literature at secondary school level. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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The first aim of teaching English literature has always been for the student to gain enjoyment from, and acquire skill in, reading. Further goals point to the affective development of pupils involving such qualities as critical thinking and expressing views, empathetic understanding of other people, moral awareness and increased self-knowledge and self-understanding. These are indeed laudable aims, but examiners have always had difficulties in examining them adequately to satisfy the critics. Teachers often doubt that they achieve such lofty aims. These very aims have the sceptics sneering at the discipline because such qualities cannot be measured and the pupil's worth for the workplace cannot be satisfactorily assessed. This has resulted in the merit of the study of literature being questioned and usually found wanting. Therefore, on the one hand, this research looks for a method of studying literature which will ensure that the study will be neccesary and desirable today and into the foreseeable future. On the other hand, the socio-political changes in South Africa, particularly since 1992, have offered a possible area of research to complement the first. During the past few years, South Africans have been forced to recognise the fact that a multitude of different races and people live and work together more closely in this country and yet they know nothing, or very little, of one another. Thus this research also investigates the addition of a cultural component to literature study to help young people gain empathetic understanding of different cultures and of their own cultures as well, to be able to live together in harmony. With this approach, pupils may conceivably be educated through literature, to become well-adjusted, critical, effective adults so that they may play their role as citizens and shapers of their increasingly complex, multi-cultural society. Because of the context of literature study, in which this personal growth takes place, the aims identified above may be measured and assessed to suit both the sceptics and the devotees of literature study.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:English literature, South Africa, Multicultural education, Culture, Ethnicity
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Van der Mescht, Hennie
ID Code:3736
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:23 Oct 2012 12:11
Last Modified:23 Oct 2012 12:11
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