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The perceived influence of children’s literature on sociocultural understanding in UK Education

The perceived influence of children’s literature on sociocultural understanding in UK Education

Bingle, Branwen Mary (2018) The perceived influence of children’s literature on sociocultural understanding in UK Education. Journal of Literary Education, 1 (1). pp. 130-150. ISSN 2659-3149 (Online) (doi:

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This article recognises the interplay between learners’ understanding of the world and the literature selected for, and read by, children as a result of current curriculum design within the UK. The original research formed the basis for the author’s doctoral thesis and included in-depth analysis of literature written for child- and young adult readers, the findings of which informed an exploration of participants’ perceptions of character depictions, as an exploration of the sociocultural relationship between readers and texts. The research utilised grounded theory method within a social constructionist framework and provided a viable interdisciplinary research design in literary studies and social science in order to identify specific influential ideas from literature that could affect future identity construction.

As part of the study, an extensive literature review was conducted, including an appraisal of the place of children’s literature within the development of a national curriculum for English in the UK. The review found that the politicisation of the English curriculum, particularly post-2010, led to an ideological linkage between the study of literature and the development of sociocultural values. This in turn emphasised issues of power and control, as gatekeepers attempted to define a canon of literature which seemingly argued for dominance over and marginalisation of different factions of society. The review concluded that educators have a responsibility to teach critical literacy skills to enable young readers to negotiate the ideologies being presented to them, but this is only possible if teachers interrogate for themselves the literature they choose as resources for the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article was submitted to a new journal which was due for publication by October 2018.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; Children's Literature Studies; Curriculum
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Education (EDU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 15:54

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