Newfoundland culture in the high school literature curriculum

Pittman, Edgar Maxwell (1989) Newfoundland culture in the high school literature curriculum. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The aim of this work is to show that the definition of literature as an art form has often been overlooked when materials have been selected to be included in the high school literature program. When young readers are introduced to the experiences of literature, they are often exposed to writings other than those effecting an artistic experience. -- The pressures to have materials included that exhibit other intentions are many and varied. The selection process becomes complicated when the intentions are so manipulated to appear to be literary when in fact they are outside the domain of literature. -- It must be the task of English educators to remind themselves of the intentions of literature. This entails also the constant awareness of the age and experiential background of the targeted audience. -- In this work, I contend that the Newfoundland high school program now includes Newfoundland writings chosen with the intent to give exposure to Newfoundland literature, to preserve the traditional Newfoundland culture, and to supply culturally relevant materials for Newfoundland students. However, what has received most attention has been the preserving of a culture. But the culture to be preserved may not be the culture of the students, hence one to which they may not be able to relate. What is culturally relevant may not be relevant for the students being targeted. -- Through an examination of the materials already in the literature program and in consideration of the results of a survey conducted in high school classrooms, I conclude that the culture promoted in these writings is too far removed from the knowledge of the students. I have also examined the areas of literature, folklore and history and find that many of the materials must have been selected for their fulfilling of the objectives of folklore and history rather than the objectives of literature. Literary quality and the literature experience have been sacrificed in favour of preserving a culture, while writings of folklore, regional history and nostalgic reminiscences continue to be emphasized.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5128
Item ID: 5128
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 111-116.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English literature--Study and teaching (Secondary)--Newfoundland and Labrador

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