(Under)mining the canon: engaging Alberta high school students in the value(s) of literature

  • Author / Creator
    Metzner, Janine
  • This thesis explores the issues surrounding the teaching of English to high school students in the province of Alberta. Its central premise is that high school students studying academic English are increasingly skeptical about the value of literature, and subsequently lack engagement with the subject area. In support of this contention is a review of the forces that have shaped canon formation and curriculum development since the mid-twentieth century, an interrogation of the documents, policies and precedents that guide the selection of texts in the classroom as well as instructional practices, and an examination of the limitations of continuing to employ the interpretive strategies of New Criticism as a primary method of explication. A selection of some of the most commonly taught texts in the province demonstrates the importance of disrupting the literal, common sense readings that often arise within the impartiality of New Criticism.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Sywenky, Irene (Comparative Literature and East European Studies)
    • Johnston, Ingrid (English Education and Curriculum Studies)