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Teaching & Learning Literature - EDU00027I

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sarah Olive
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module is intended to introduce students to the teaching of literature in schools and more generally, particularly how organic personal response to literature can be reconciled with formal literary-critical approaches. It will approach this through literary works often encountered in schools and the works of William Shakespeare

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Develop a close knowledge of some key literary texts in the genres of poetry, prose and drama;
  • Consider the ways in which writers choices of form, structure and language shape meanings in texts;
  • Assess the ways in which the responses of other readers (including critical theorists) can affect their own interpretations of literary texts, so that they start to question and re-evaluate their beliefs and assumptions;
  • Extend their critical analysis skills, objectively assessing a range of factors and theories which may affect the ways in which texts are written, read and understood.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Students will be expected to locate and engage with a variety of literary, literary critical and theoretical sources. They will practice extracting key points from articles, identifying arguments and the evidence which support these. Students will be asked to engage with debates on set texts and resources. They will be required to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Students will also develop their IT skills by interacting with the VLE as an integral aspect of this module.

Module content

The module has 22 class meetings (9 in the Autumn Term weeks 2-10; 9 in the Spring Term weeks 2-10; and 4 in the Summer Term weeks 1-4). These will involve tutor-led input, lectures, small group activities, class debates and student presentations using a range of materials. Each class will require the students to do preparatory readings and to complete follow-up activities. Preparatory readings will take the form of academic papers, reports, newspaper articles or policy documents. The weekly required readings and the follow-up activities are clearly outlined on the VLE. Follow-up activities will be varied but may include creative writing, independent research, keeping a glossary of key terms etc.

An outline of the sessions week by week:

Autumn Term

Students will be expected to read each focus text prior to the session, along with critical materials related to the themes for the week.

2. Introduction to module; Introduction to assessment and group allocation. Key


3. Workshop approaches to teaching Shakespeare

Focus text; Othello.


October/November – Students go in to school/college to liaise with staff and pupils. Preparing materials.


4. Genre, comedy and language.

Focus Text; Twelfth Night

5. Tragedy, courtly love and the use of film in teaching Shakespeare

Focus Text; Romeo and Juliet

6. Teaching Shakespeare – Theory into Practice

Focus Text; Romeo and Juliet

7. Poetry and Shakespeare

Focus Texts; The Sonnets


December – Students produce final version of materials. Materials are printed. Students review work for final assessment. Students take materials into schools/colleges.


8. From page to classroom

Focus Text; Macbeth

9.The later plays;

Focus text; The Tempest,

10. Presentations of materials produced for use in school/college and course review


Spring Term

All the sessions are based upon the close reading of a key focus text or texts, but students will be expected to read widely around and beyond this core. Poetry will be distributed the week before, as will selected stories from the Dubliners.


2. Poetry I: Text and context

Focus Texts: a selection of poems from the following collections:

Plath, S. Ariel and Hughes, T, Birthday Letters

3. Poetry II: Stylistic analysis

Focus Texts: a selection of John Donne’s poetry

4. Poetry III: Love and friendship

Focus Texts: a selection of Katherine Fowler Phillips poetry

5. Drama I: Studying character

Focus text: Shakespeare, W.All’s Well That Ends Well

6. Drama II: Modern American drama

Focus text: Williams, T. A Streetcar Named Desire

7. Prose Narrative I: Tragedy and postcolonialism

Focus text: Achebe, C. Things Fall Apart.

8. Prose Narrative II: Gender and identity

Focus text: Chopin, K. The Awakening

9. Prose Narrative III: Intertextuality and adaptation

Focus text: Smiley, J. A Thousand Acres

10. Short stories: Folk influences and re-tellings

Focus text: a selection of stories from Carter, A. The Bloody Chamber


Summer Term

1. Essay preparation

This will build on the essay plans produced last term.

2. Connecting poetry to Folk influences and re-tellings

Focus text: Anne Sexton and Carol Anne Duffy

3. Connecting drama to text and context; intertextuality and adaptation

Focus text: Middleton, T.A Yorkshire Tragedy

4. Connecting prose to place, realism, and childhood

Focus text: stories from Joyce, J. The Dubliners


Preparatory and key texts only:

Autumn Term

Gibson, R. (1990) Secondary School Shakespeare, Cambridge Institute of Education.

Kermode,F. (2000) Shakespeare’s Language, Penguin

Michaels, W. et al. (2001) Shakespeare: A Teacher’s Handbook, Phoenix Education

Ryan,K. (ed) (2000) Shakespeare: Texts and Contexts, Macmillan Press

Spring and Summer Terms

The texts listed above are essential reading. Copies of poetry to be examined will be made available on the VLE. Before obtaining physical copies of the older texts, students may wish to check whether they are available online via Project Gutenberg where than can be downloaded free of charge onto your computer, Kindle etc. Beyond this,a wide range of reading is expected of students on the course, beyond that detailed in the reading lists and by the module tutors.




Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 40
3000 word essay
N/A 60

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Essay One; ‘Pupil Support Pack’ rationale and evaluation

  • Students are expected to produce, in groups, for the Teaching Shakespeare module, a ‘Pupil Support Pack’ that will be used by A’Level students in school or college to support their work for A’Level on a particular text. This pack is produced for a local school and group of A’Level pupils, in consultation with a teacher and pupils in a partner school. The assessment will be an individual rationale and evaluation of the ‘Pupil Support Pack’. The rationale will be an overview of where the focus Shakespeare play fits into the curriculum at A’Level, whether coursework or exam, and the means by which it is examined. The rationale will then analyse what aspects of the play the ‘Pupil Support Pack’ has focused on, for example context or genre. The rationales will give the reasons for the choices that have been made in selecting chapters, article or websites for inclusion in the pack. Finally an evaluation of the pack and assessment of its usefulness for the target audience will be included. This first essay will be submitted in the Spring Term Week 1,

Essay Two Studying Literary Texts

  • This essay will be chosen by the student on some aspect of one of the topics covered in the module. The second essay will be submitted in the Summer Term Week 6. The marks for these two essays will be weighted 40% and 60% respectively in producing your overall mark for this module.


Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 40
3000 word essay
N/A 60

Module feedback

Individual written feedback reports, with follow-up tutor meeting if necessary. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Indicative reading

Hawthorn, J. et al (2001) Studying Literature: The Essential Companion London: Hodder Arnold
Onyett, N. (2005) Comparing Texts London: Routledge
Short, M. (2006) Exploring the language of poems, plays and poems. London: Longman.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.