Conditional assent: Literary value and the value of English as a subject
Required Reading: Literature in Australian Schools since 1945
Monash University Publishing
School of Education
Required Reading examines for the first time what students read and studied in the disciplines of English and literary studies at Australian schools and universities after 1945. On the basis of this primary evidence the authors challenge enduring myths of curriculum history, the history of literary studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. They fill out the picture of how students were encouraged to read, when, where, and in which particular pedagogical and wider social and historical contexts. They relate dramatic changes to curriculum frameworks and syllabi, teaching and learning methods, social and cultural values and assumptions, and the academic discipline of literary studies itself. Required Reading shows, finally, how flawed assumptions about the nature and the history of upper-school English and academic literary studies have, since the 1980s, obstructed the advancement of knowledge within both fields of scholarly endeavour.
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