English literature and work-based learning: a pedagogical case study

Eastman, Christine ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9156-8299 (2014) English literature and work-based learning: a pedagogical case study. The International Journal of Lifelong Education, 33 (2) . pp. 141-160. ISSN 0260-1370 [Article] (doi:10.1080/02601370.2013.824039)


This paper discusses a pilot project held at Middlesex University to enhance students’ writing skills through literature teaching. It argues that literature teaching can offer a profound contribution to work-based learning and lifelong education: first, by showing students how effective arguments are constructed; second, by inspiring students to use their reading to improve their writing; third, by offering an ethical guide in the workplace and, broadly speaking, in all areas of life. Moreover, literature teaching should help students become more energized by the challenges of argument, contradictions and complexity, as well as provide them with the means to formulate and then trust their aesthetic judgement. Using literature as a pedagogical tool, teachers can inspire ‘educational connoisseurship’ in their students by teaching them to become active and autonomous, evaluative and critical agents in their own education. This paper presents the results of the pilot, showing the substantive contribution the study of certain essayists and novelists made to the students’ perceptions of what makes good writing, how they might replicate it and how literature can offer an ethical guide throughout their working lives. As a reiterative study which builds on similar research carried out at the University of Kent in 2010, this paper should further the arguments for a work-based learning
programme that includes the study of literature.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 14043
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Christine Eastman
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 11:08
Last Modified: 30 May 2020 16:14
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/14043

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