ENGLISH LITERATURE RATIONALE
Author: Greg Schofield. 20/8/2007
1. English Literature is the study of a selection of the great works produced by poets, playwrights and novelists. Authors who have captured in the words of our language the moments, complexities, and ironies of the human condition.
2. In studying this material, students analyse the text to understand the author's ideas and concepts that are conveyed within it. To this purpose secondary material is used to illuminate and illustrate what has been discovered, and what can be discovered, within the text being studied.
3. Students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of these texts in clearly written, rationally structured, evidence based, Third Person prose in response to specific questions related to the texts that have been studied.
4. In this way, both in the production of such pieces and in their assessment, students have the opportunity to think deeply about the the material of study, allowing them to develop more fully their general conceptual abilities.
Whatever the limitations of the above contribution, no specific ideology needs to be mentioned, or any findings presumed. The logic of the “rationale” is much stronger than that tendered through the agency of the CC.
Para 1 identifies the subject being studied, without presuming a particular corpus of material, but only presuming that what is selected is of recognizable merit and worth. It specifies, not the context but the nature of the material of study, what it actually contains as against what might be imposed upon it. Hence what the author expresses rises above the context that created the expression. Ie., the correct relationship between a text of worth and the meanings with it to the context of its production.
Para 2, carries this thought through to the method of study and what this means for students and where their study is directed.
Para 3, the demonstration of knowledge from such study carries over to the form of that demonstrated. Ideas rendered from texts are expressed in the form of ideas as prose that it is logical, in the third person (the natural expression of ideas as ideas). Ie., the nature of study dictates the form of its demonstration seamlessly.
Para 4, the objective of the course in terms of real and predictable “outcome” as the development of general conceptual abilities, consistent with the subject matter itself, the method of study and its demonstration.
Instead of imposing a structure upon the subject matter, however limited the above may be as an illustration that such faults can be easily avoided, the point here is to draw from the defined subject its own logic that is consistent with it.
That is not anything that has been written, but from all the things written, those that ably express ideas and concepts. That is the beginning point, and justification for the study of the literature of any language and why such a study produces intellectual effects far wider than simply having understood a few, albeit well written, examples.