Wood, Audrey B. (2017) Pre-Twentieth Century Literature in the Year 9 Classroom: Student Responses to Different Teaching Approaches. English in Education, 51 (3). pp. 308-326. ISSN 0425-0494

This article arises from an action research investigation that sought to understand the ways in which different approaches to teaching pre-twentieth century literature in Year 9 English lessons might influence students’ experiences of texts. The article examines the proposition that some students need to have a secure understanding of the text before they can benefit from more creative approaches which require them to undertake independent and personal responses. Although creative methods of teaching are often posited as being superior to more teacher-led approaches, student responses suggest that requiring them to participate in creative activities as a means of exploring an unfamiliar text, without first ensuring they have a solid understanding of it, can lead to resistance and disengagement. In this case study, some students both benefited from and appreciated a structured approach that included more ‘traditional’ approaches to teaching pre-twentieth century literature, which they said helped them to learn more effectively.

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