The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Lady of Shalott Breaks the Fourth Wall and Goes with the Flow

Patrick Murphy, Nord University (Norway)


Canonical literature, Fourth Wall, flow theory, location-based learning, in-depth learning
Literary canon, a concept where merely the term invokes respect and a sense of something dignified and solid, serves as a stronghold and representative of the time in which it was written. Traditional literary analysis in the scholarly university traditions may for many also serve as precisely a bastion of four grey, towered walls holding its own in a flow of change; a tradition to be upheld and compartmentalized in a time capsule of the mind. This paper shows an example of how contemporary - though not necessarily new - pedagogical approaches may break this mould. This paper is not to be seen as a criticism of traditional literary analysis, but rather as serving the function and purpose of supplementing tradition by demonstrating a possible meeting between canonical literature and more contemporary trends and approaches in working with literature, especially within teacher training. Here the university teacher should be a role model to his or her teacher trainees by accommodating differentiated learning and seeing the connection between not only other school subjects, but also to trigger the existing knowledge and experience of the individual learner beyond the confines of the classroom walls. This meeting between literary canon and pedagogical trends is exemplified by Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott [1], as seen through the eyes and concepts of breaking the Fourth Wall [2], flow theory [3], location-based learning, and in-depth learning. Placing The Lady of Shalott within the context of the bespoke pedagogical approaches may lay the foundation for a student-centred reader-response approach; a response that is well rooted in the student’s world beyond the confines and spells of the traditional university lecture hall. This paper points to how the poem may be seen in light of different approaches, and though the author does not provide ready made teaching methods, he hopefully signs out with the proverbial door ajar.
[1] Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron. The Lady of Shalott, 1832
[2] Bell, Elizabeth S. Theories of Performance, p.203. Los Angeles: Sage, 2008
[3] Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row, 1990


Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy