Good and serious readers: the place of reading in the secondary English curriculum
The Conversation, 2, (3), .
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This article explores three different areas connected to how trainee English teachers approach teaching fiction in early secondary classrooms in the UK. It begins with exploring the prior knowledge and experience trainee teachers bring to the training year and details some of the training experience they encounter in one particular course. The article progresses with a brief analysis of different philosophies for teaching reading: the central government strategy for raising standards in literacy, and an experiential model of teaching reading which allows for submersion in narrative without study. The latter position is not a pedagogic one as much as a discursive one offered by prominent authors and framed by the national press. Despite its detachment from government strategies it is a powerful discourse in terms of the way English teaching has been argued for and shaped in the past. In two case studies at the end I detail how trainee teachers negotiate their approaches to teaching texts between all of these positions and leave open for debate what the future of teaching reading in English classrooms might be.
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