Shakespeare Valued: policy, pedagogy and practice in English education, 1989-2009

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • Univ Birmingham
Supervisors/Advisors
  • McLuskie, Kate, Supervisor, External person
Award date14 Jul 2011
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis examines the value of Shakespeare in the domains of policy, pedagogy and practice in English education from 1989 to 2009. Rather than seeking to evaluate his worth, it focuses, in particular, on the processes, institutions and discourses through which his value is constructed. The early chapters establish a lack of existing, critical, interdisciplinary research into Shakespeare in education; offer the historic context leading up to the playwright’s establishment in the National Curriculum for English as its only compulsory author; and review his place in the education policy of Conservative and Labour governments during the past two decades. Later chapters investigate the value of Shakespeare as constructed in three distinct pedagogies; the inter-relation of his value as constructed in the curriculum, theatre and heritage education departments, popular culture, and academia. It argues that Shakespeare’s tenacity in holding onto a premier position in English education derives largely from the diverse, dispersed, yet interconnected representations of his value.

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