Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

The Integrated Programme of Study for Literature in Cyprus’ Education

Afroditi Athanasopoulou, University of Cyprus (Cyprus)


The paper presents the Integrated Programme of Study for Literature (IPSL), a joint effort of university professors and school teachers, adopted under the National Curriculum Reform in Cyprus (in vigour since 2011-12). This innovative Curriculum for Literature aims at cultivating reading and writing skills within a broader literacy agenda, enabling students to become critical and creative readers of literary texts in correlation with other arts and cognitive fields. The presentation will focus on: a) the main characteristics of the ISPL (consistency, economy, balance, and variety); b) its structure and contents by education level (primary, lower-secondary and upper-secondary education); c) the new textbooks and teaching aids, and, finally, d) the methodological innovations of the IPSL in the teaching and learning process, as well as in students’ assessment. The aim of the paper is to point out that the Integrated Programme of Study for Literature, adopted in Cyprus’s school education, corresponds to the fundamental principles of modern education that seek to advance critical thinking, holistic knowledge and cultural literacy, while promoting the cultivation of values, attitudes and behaviours for active democratic citizenship. The ISPL especially contributes to the development of key skills, such as analytical and synthetic thinking, creative imagination, critical knowledge, empathy, team-working capacity in problem-solving, and ability to identify alternative life scenarios. These skills are necessary for the integration of young people into the modern, interactive and multicultural society of the 21st century and their effective participation in shaping the future. In this perspective, students are expected to gain through the ISPL a solid and comprehensive knowledge of the literary phenomenon in their school education and, more importantly, to address literature, and art in general, as an essential component of life. The fact that literature emerges as the ultimate carrier of universal values, while at the same time promoting the distinct linguistic and cultural identity of each nation fully justifies its crucial importance in education, which is being alarmingly marginalised in our technocratic age.

Keywords: Curriculum for Literature; Literary literacy; Cultural literacy; Student assessment; Critical reading; Creative writing; Empathy.

[1] Integrated Programme of Study for Literature (primary, lower-secondary, upper-secondary education), in the framework of the National Education Reform: “New Curricula for Public Schools of the Republic of Cyprus”, Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus (2010).
[2] Afroditi Athanasopoulou et al., Written Word as a Spiritual Need. Selected Literary Texts, New textbooks for the three high school grades based on the new curricula of the Ministry of Education, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute. 6 volumes: 3 textbooks (Literary Texts) and 3 teacher manuals (Questions & Projects).

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