Author Sebastian, Brigit
Title Re-imagining literature education in Singapore through the illuminated poems of William Blake
Institute Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Year 2014
Supervisor Whitehead, Angus

This study seeks to re-envision the teaching of Literature at the secondary level with a view to fostering the development of a critically reflexive literary sensibility. Central to the inquiry, is an exploration as to how this might be achieved through encounters with William Blake’s verbal-visual composite art. The author demonstrates how these texts could be utilised in invoking creative and critical responses, as students in the process of responding to Blake’s works, learn to become reader-viewers. This is investigated through a series of one-to-one pedagogical experiments and a classroom based session. The thesis goes on to suggest how comparatively richer pedagogical outcomes might be realised by situating the text in its socio-historical context, and ways to inspire a reading of the ‘social text’ that students inhabit. Being grounded in the Singapore context, the discussion aims to propose more enriching pedagogical alternatives to the test-driven and skills-based forms of literacy learning that dominate many Literature classrooms in Singapore.

Keywords: Poetry Teaching, Literature Education, William Blake