Dutton, Fiona Jane (2019) Secondary school pupils and English Literature. Masters thesis, Keele University.

[thumbnail of DuttonMPhil2019.pdf]

Download (2MB) | Preview


This research is centred on the school subject of GCSE English Literature and the experiences of current secondary-school pupils following the recent changes to the discipline. It is an exploration of their views towards GCSE English Literature as taught and assessed at their school in 2015. Successive government policies have presented differing views towards the subject of English Literature and its role and purpose within secondary-school education. My interest is in the current experience of pupils within this curriculum area following the changes made by Michael Gove (the Secretary of State for Education from 2010 to 2014) and how this has impacted on the identity of the subject. This research investigated the debates surrounding GCSE English Literature in secondary education and contributes to such ongoing discussions by drawing on the voices of pupils. The methodological approach to this investigation into a contemporary phenomenon is a case study employing qualitative interpretivist methods. The research centred on one school in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Research took place in the spring of 2015 within the school environment through the distribution of questionnaires and small-scale group interviews. The findings are considered through a constructivist framework and indicate some contradictions with prior beliefs of what the discipline is said to offer pupils. Conclusions are draw in relation to what we can learn about the subject from the experiences of pupils and the impact of Gove’s changes to the taught curriculum. The voices of pupils are used widely throughout the findings chapters to illuminate the discussion and give a true sense of what these pupils really think about the subject as they experienced it. The data presents a clear insight into the views of pupils engaged in the learning of GCSE English Literature and is telling of how they perceive the subject in education today.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Contributors: Howlett, John (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 15:22
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 15:22
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8585

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item