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Applying literary theory to the reading of Jane Eyre in a secondary school classroom

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dc.contributor.author Burns, Lois Anne
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-15T20:26:43Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-25T02:30:14Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-15T20:26:43Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-25T02:30:14Z
dc.date.copyright 2005
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/22912
dc.description.abstract This study is about how readers interpret literary texts. The basic research question was whether the use of critical approaches can widen the interpretations students give to a text. This was tested with a group of Year 10 girls in a single sex integrated secondary school in New Zealand. The study was carried out in the students' classroom, the text consisted of five extracts from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, and the literary theories chosen for the study were Reader Response, New Criticism, New Historicism and Feminist Theory. The students were asked first to write down their memories of Jane Eyre which they had read some time earlier. Over a series of sessions they then read the five extracts, and wrote answers to questions which were related to each of the theories. On four occasions the students took part in a group discussion, which was not guided by specific questions and which was controlled by the students. The results showed that using contemporary literary theories as a basis for considering a text allowed the students to expand their interpretations and that this result showed up in both the written answers and in the utterances in the group discussions. There were important differences according to the particular questions related to a critical approach and students were able to identify which were most helpful to understanding the text, which were most enjoyed, which made them think about the text, and which resulted in learning. Reader Response comments were the most numerous and were enjoyed. The questions related to New Criticism were referred to least often. New historicism questions were regarded positively and the students reported that they made them understand issues in the text they may not have considered before. Feminist Theory questions interested the students and were reported as helping them to think. Reasons for the results are explored in the design of the study and the processes of discussion. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Applying literary theory to the reading of Jane Eyre in a secondary school classroom en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Education en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Master of Education en_NZ

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