Literature—a high risk implementation route to literacy?
Keywords:Teaching Literature, L1, Implementation, Literacy, Global Assessments
This article is about the implementation of a literary module in a large scale Swedish professional development programme for teachers called the Reading Lift, which was introduced in 2014 in response to alarming PISA results. While the government-assigned preparatory work stressed the importance of literature and literary didactic methods, this area was reduced significantly in the hands of the National Agency for Education. For upper secondary school, the Agency did not initially plan for any literary content. This article examines what happened when L1 teachers demanded a literary module. Specifically, we study how the module was implemented and how literature is viewed. The study is based on interviews with researchers who contributed with content on behalf of the Agency and qualitative content analysis of the literature module. Results show that the module represents a focus on knowledge and art, unlike the instrumental and skills focused perspectives on literature for compulsory school, explored in an earlier study. One explanation for this, is that the influence of street-level agency bureaucrats was reduced due to various circumstances. The result was to the benefit of literary education but at the same time a high-risk route for the Agency’s requirements for measurability.
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