The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Patrick Murphy, Nord University (Norway)


The recent amalgamation of traditional teacher training colleges into universities as seen in Norway has caused a clash of interests between the profession-based approach of the teacher training staff and that of traditional academical approach of university traditions. Differing views on e.g. the importance of older canonical literature for teacher training students have led to a partly compartmentalized teaching of classic and canonical literature on the one hand, and subject pedagogy on the other. This article is based on own experiences in the classroom and shows how to blend classic literature into the world of the teacher training student within the concepts of the extended classroom and in-depth learning. Here it is not merely a matter of scaling boundaries of compartmentalized university subjects, but also the mental barriers between traditional classroom teaching and the sensibility of the individual’s world beyond the classroom walls. This paper shows how Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott [1] is the backdrop for not only a reader-response approach to literature, but also to a creative approach that leads the reader to understanding through triggering the interests and experiences of his or her world of audio and visual impressions and experiences. As the Lady of Shalott breaks the curse and leaves her world enclosed by four walls, so will this session break a few barriers and conventions leading to a student active learning session where it is not a question of being served a traditionally accepted interpretation of the poem, but rather one of triggering personal experiences and preferences. This paper is intended to give the language teacher a little input in creatively accommodating teaching and learning literature through a hands-on session. By not only seeing - but also making - the connections between various subjects and concepts the learner may create a greater understanding of classic literature within the often-fragmented world of higher education. This paper focuses on the learner creating an understanding as a contrast to in traditional literary analysis being served an understanding. This is the journey of the entrapped Lady of Shalott breaking the Fourth Wall and taking the learner along with the flow.



student activity, teaching literature, breaking barriers


[1] Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron. The Lady of Shalott (1832)


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