Towards a theory of how teachers and students in Singapore secondary schools deal with literature in English studies

Rozita Dass

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Recent research on Literature education in Singapore has highlighted the state of ambivalence of the Literature curriculum (Choo, 2004); suggested possibilities for its reconceptualisation, taking into consideration the contemporary Singaporean environment and the impact of globalisation (Holden, 2000; Choo, 2011); and considered the offering of alternative curricula (Poon, 2007). This thesis explores the state of Literature as a subject in Singapore secondary schools in relation to this recent research by considering its role in the current political, economic, social and educational climate. It presents the findings and analysis of students’ and teachers’ perspectives on literary studies in Singapore secondary schools in order to generate theory on how students and teachers deal with Literature in English studies. In-depth interpretivist case studies were conducted at five sites, purposively selected to incorporate the range of school types in Singapore. Data collection methods included focus group interviews and written protocol with students, semi-structured interviews with Heads of Department, questionnaires from teachers as well as document analysis. The findings from this research provided relevant empirical data to support recent research on literary studies in Singapore (Choo, 2004; Poon, 2011). Emergent themes included: the insignificant impact of local literature on the study of Literature, the low status of subject and the lack of desirability of Literature as a course of study. The themes led to the formulation of four key propositions supporting development of theory on ways in which students and teachers deal with Literature in English studies in Singapore secondary schools.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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