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Title: Being critical? : multimodal engagement with English literary text in senior cycle Irish classrooms
Author: Malone, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 3218
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores how the teaching of literary text (poetry, drama and fiction) is experienced and critically realized inside Irish senior cycle classrooms of English. These classrooms have been subject to significant cultural and social change up to and since 1999 when a revised Senior Cycle English syllabus (the 'Leaving Certificate') was initiated in second level schools. It espoused a new, more defined emphasis on critical literacy. Despite an extensive body of research (Lankshear 1987; Freebody 1992; Janks 2000; Sawyer 2007; Wallowitz 2008; Qu 2011; Luke 2012) that established the pedagogic value of critical literacy practices no research to date has been conducted within an Irish context. Indeed, amidst much of the discussion significant questions have emerged regarding the extent to which this curricular aim is being realised inside Irish senior cycle English classrooms. Using multimodal semiotic theory as an interpretative lens this study examined engagement, and more particularly critical engagement with literary text in three second level schools in Ireland. Data was systematically gathered by way of audio-visual technologies, semistructured teacher interviews, focus group interviews with participant students and observations of classroom activity. Findings show the diversity and complexity of student-teacher relationships within and across school environments and emphasize the crucial role that personal, social and historic factors, associated with embedded traditions, play in shaping engagement with literary text. The study sets out a critical perspective on the ways in which senior cycle students and teachers engage with literary text and shows how the classroom community constructs meaning often in complex and conflicting ways. This work contributes to the international growing body of work in this field but more particularly begins the discussion within an Irish schooling context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available