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Bedtime stories or professional protocol: Is reading the canon still an expectation of the New Zealand tertiary sector?


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It is a well supported fact that reading enhances language use and practice. But what authors have our tertiary students read by the time they reach tertiary institutions and do we test this? What reading are they currently doing? What reading do we want them to do? What would their preferred canon be?

This paper reflects on the theory about reading and literacy, but notes a gap in the literature after high school. It includes a report on the the results of a longitudinal survey of tertiary students from a particular creative writing programme in New Zealand, polling their recognition of authors by surname.

From a range of interviews with current and past students and lecturers of creative writing programmes in New Zealand, the paper also considers key factors which determine whether students know the names of authors or why they read preferred books.

The paper also asks whether there is any point in trying to retain a hierarchical, structuralist approach to the canon, when a more populist, genre-based approach might earn our tertiary institutions more student entries, as our accountants and, increasingly, our managers, seem to require.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Conference held 25–27 November, 2010, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Literacy, canon, reading, writing, Spivey, Rosenblatt, Vygotsky
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Gail Pittaway
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2012 02:01
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:51

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