Tuesday, 05 June 2018
At NIE, we want our Literature student teachers to be keen and sharp readers of literary and non-literary texts so that they may be better able to understand, critique and shape the world around them while also inspiring their future secondary school students to embrace and love the subject. To this end, our Literature student teachers read a wide range of British, American and Anglophone literary texts to broaden their cultural and intellectual horizons, and sharpen their analytic reading skills. In addition, our student teachers also learn about the rise of English Literature as a discipline and how that history is inextricably linked to the politics of the British Empire and colonialism.
Understanding this foundational aspect of Literature's history is imperative for our future Literature teachers since it gets to the heart of their chosen vocation while providing them with a context from which to further explore how English Literature continues to be informed by the increasingly complicated dichotomy between 'high' and mass 'culture' in our digital and social media age. In NIE, we offer a unique course, "Literature, Education and Culture" in our Bachelor of Arts (Education) and Bachelor of Science (Education) programmes, where these connections are explored, discussed, and analysed through place-based learning.
In March 2017, Associate Professor Angelia Poon brought her Literature student teachers to the National Gallery for an exhibition organised in conjunction with the Tate Modern in London called " Artist and Empire: (En)countering Colonial Legacies". The exhibition, focusing on how the British Empire was represented and contested in art, served to illustrate the deeply political nature of culture including its naturalisation and transmission. Student teachers had an opportunity to examine interesting, provocative and famous art works and to apply some of the ideas already discussed in class in relation to written texts to paintings and art installations. In their four years in NIE, Literature student teachers will receive a variety of opportunities to better appreciate Literature's relevance to modern society and to their individual lives in Singapore through learning experiences that take them outside the four walls of the classroom.
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