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Open Access Karel, Reynaert ‐ en de anderen?

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Karel, Reynaert ‐ and the others? The broadness of the concept ‘literature’ in secondary education

Current scholarship on historical Dutch literature ‐ as reflected by the Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse literatuur (GNL) ‐ is characterized by its broad definition of ‘literature’. This article examines whether the ambition to look beyond the literary canon impacted on historical literature education in secondary schools. On the basis of a survey among former pupils of 72 secondary schools in the Netherlands and an analysis of the download data of the website, we reveal that secondary schools generally prescribe a small set of canonical books. We also conduct a case study on Tekst in Context ‐ a series of historical texts for pupils ‐ which includes the analysis of its content and sales figures, and interviews with secondary school teachers. We demonstrate that Tekst in Context on the one hand supports a dynamic approach to the literary canon (since it includes some unknown texts and reflects on the changeability of esthetic judgements), but most of all enhanced the canonical status of texts (as most Tekst in Context issues focus on canonical texts, and these issues are by far the most popular ones). So the dynamic canon approach, as supported by the GNL, hardly impacted on current secondary education.
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Keywords: historical literature education on secondary schools; literary canon; literary history; series Tekst in Context

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Het tijdschrift Nederlandse Letterkunde is een wetenschappelijk, peer-reviewed tijdschrift voor de Nederlandstalige letterkunde. Het tijdschrift is een podium voor vakbeoefening in al haar vormen en facetten. De diverse bijdragen beslaan in hun totaliteit het gehele spectrum van Nederlandstalige letterkunde van de Middeleeuwen tot heden. Een jaargang Nederlandse Letterkunde telt drie afleveringen waarvan er steeds één aan een actueel thema gewijd wordt.

    The Dutch-language journal Nederlandse Letterkunde (Dutch Literature) is an academic peer-reviewed journal for Dutch literature. The various contributions cover the entire spectrum of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Nederlandse Letterkunde publishes three issues a year of which one is devoted to a contemporary topic.
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