This article focuses on a small group of teachers as they reflect on the strategies they use to support their students in their efforts to interpret literary texts. We argue that the interpretation of literary texts within classroom settings is mediated in complex ways: by the social context of the classroom, the insti-tutional setting of the school (including its curriculum and organization), as well as mandated educa-tional policies. These dimensions shape the relationships between teachers and students as they engage in the ‘social exchange of meanings’ (Reid, 1984) that is prompted by the texts chosen for study. Stu-dents bring their own biographies to this exchange, drawing on their experiences outside school in order to make meanings from the texts they are required to read. Teachers, on the other hand, also bring their biographies with them into classrooms, including their beliefs about the value of a literary educa-tion. By exploring the reflections in which a small group of teachers of literature engage about their work, we ask questions about the value of a literary education, reaffirming its significance in the con-temporary world.
Field of Research
130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)