1st Edition

Literary Knowing and the Making of English Teachers The Role of Literature in Shaping English Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Identities

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    At a time when knowledge is being 're-valued' as central to curriculum concerns, subject English is being called to account. Literary Knowing and the Making of English Teachers puts long-standing debates about knowledge and knowing in English in dialogue with an investigation of how English teachers are made in the 21st century.

    This book explores, for the first time, the role of literature in shaping English teachers’ professional knowledge and identities by examining the impacts, in particular, of their own school teaching in their ‘making’. The voices of early career English teachers feature throughout the work, in a series of vignettes providing reflective accounts of their professional learning. The authors bring a range of disciplinary expertise and standpoints to explore the complexity of knowledge and knowing in English. They ask: How do English teachers negotiate competing curriculum demands? How do they understand literary knowledge in a neoliberal context? What is core English knowledge for students, and what role should literature play in the contemporary curriculum? Drawing on a major longitudinal research project, they bring to light what English teachers see as central to their work, the ways they connect teaching with their disciplinary training, and how their understandings of literary practice are contested and reimagined in the classroom.

    This innovative work is essential reading for scholars and postgraduate students in the fields of teacher education, English education, literary studies and curriculum studies.

    1. Knowledge, making and English teachers, Larissa McLean Davies and Wayne Sawyer 2. Autobiographies of the question, Brenton Doecke, Larissa McLean Davies, Philip Mead, Wayne Sawyer, and Lyn Yates 3. Literary knowledge debates, Larissa McLean Davies and Wayne Sawyer 4. Curriculum and knowledge questions: Is English peculiar? Lyn Yates Vignette: Katya, Vignette: Scott 5. Shifting relationships between subject and discipline: English in Australia, Brenton Doecke and Philip Mead 6. Literary knowledge in the wider field: Reflections from literary studies academics, teacher educators and curriculum authorities, Larissa McLean Davies Vignette: Janet, Vignette: Clare 7. English teachers’ conceptions of literary knowledge, Larissa McLean Davies 8. Literary sociability: Making meaning in English classrooms, Brenton Doecke and Philip Mead Vignette: Craig, Vignette: Amaris 9. Knowledge proxies: Text selection and assessment, Lyn Yates 10. Literature and literacy: The ever-varying constants, Wayne Sawyer Vignette: Rebecca, Vignette: Leo 11. Knowing and making: Classroom, curriculum and pedagogy, Wayne Sawyer 12. Crossing institutional boundaries: Negotiating a professional identity as an English teacher, Brenton Doecke and Philip Mead 13. Narratives, insights and next steps for questions of literary knowledge and English teaching, Larissa McLean Davies, Brenton Doecke, Philip Mead, Wayne Sawyer and Lyn Yates


    Larissa McLean Davies is Professor of Teacher Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, at the University of Melbourne. Larissa’s research is concerned with the way teachers' knowledge is developed across the career span, and specifically with how disciplinary knowledge is understood in the context of decolonising curricula imperatives. To this end, she leads substantive priority projects in partnership with Australian Federal, State and Territory Governments which support the development of teacher knowledge and practice in diverse social, geographical and disciplinary contexts. She has published widely in the areas of teacher education and English curriculum and is known for her work at the intersection of literary studies and English education. She was the Lead CI of the Australian Research Council funded project Investigating Literary Knowledge in the Making of English Teachers, is a former editor of English in Australia, and is co-founder of the Literary Education Lab: https://literaryeducationlab.org/.

    Brenton Doecke is Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University. He has published widely in the fields of English education, teacher education and literary studies. He is a former editor of English in Australia, the journal of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and is currently a co-editor of Changing English. He played a leading role, with Margaret Gill, in developing the Standards for Teachers of English Language and Literature in Australia (STELLA), a joint project involving both the AATE and the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA). His books include Literary Praxis: A Conversational Inquiry into the Teaching of Literature (Springer, 2011), co-edited with Piet-Hein van de Ven; Confronting Practice: Classroom Investigations into Language and Learning (Phoenix Education, 2011), co-authored with Douglas McClenaghan; and Becoming a Teacher of Language and Literacy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), co-edited with Glenn Auld and Muriel Wells. Brenton is a life member of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English and the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English.

    Philip Mead was inaugural Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia (2009-2018). He is currently Emeritus Chair in Australian Literature, University of Western Australia, and Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. From 2009-2010 Philip was Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair of Interdisciplinary Australian Studies, at the Free University, Berlin and in 2015-2016 was Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. Philip has published in the areas of national and transnational literary studies, Indigenous literatures, cultural history and theory, poetics, literary education, and digital humanities. In 2018 Philip published Antipodal Shakespeare: Remembering and Forgetting in Britain, Australia and New Zealand, 1916-2016 with Gordon McMullan (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2018) and The Social Work of Narrative: Human Rights and the Cultural Imaginary, co-edited with Gareth Griffiths (Columbia University Press, 2018). He is currently editing, with Professor Ann Vickery of Deakin University, the Cambridge History of Australian Poetry.

    Wayne Sawyer is Emeritus Professor in the School of Education at Western Sydney University. Before joining WSU, Wayne was a secondary school Head of English. He is a past President of the New South Wales (NSW) English Teachers Association (ETA) and past Chair of the NSW Board of Studies English Curriculum Committee. He is an Honorary Life Member of both the NSW ETA and the Australian Association for the Teaching of English, and a former editor of English in Australia. Wayne’s doctoral research was on English curriculum history in NSW and he currently researches in the areas of secondary English curriculum, curriculum history, literacy policy, literary knowledge, and pedagogy in low SES schools. His most recent books include Charged with Meaning: Becoming an English Teacher (Phoenix Education, 2019) and the co-edited, The Future of English Teaching Worldwide: Celebrating 50 Years from the Dartmouth Conference (Routledge, 2018). He is currently co-editing a book on teacher education in English for Routledge.  

    Lyn Yates’ long-standing research interests have been in the possibilities and constraints of institutional education, both schooling and post-school education. Her work has included a range of research on curriculum and the schooling experience as shapers of identity, and of gender- and class-based inequalities and opportunities within this. It has also included many essays and analyses of changing education policies, both in Australia and internationally, with particular attention to knowledge and social change, and to the longer-term implications of how the roles of schools and universities are being understood and enacted. Lyn is now Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne. Her major books include Making Modern Lives (with Julie McLeod) (Suny Press, 2006), What Does Good Education Research Look Like? (McGraw-Hill Education, 2004), Curriculum in Today’s World (with Madeleine Grumet) (Routledge, 2011) and Knowledge at the Crossroads? (with Peter Woelert, Victoria Millar and Kate O’Connor) (Springer, 2017).