Home >  Blog >  Deconstructing literary texts

Deconstructing literary texts

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 23 February 2017

The following letter was submitted in response to an editorial in The Australian for possible publication on Thursday 23 February 2017 but it failed to make it into print. The editorial had been prompted by changes to Years 11 and 12 syllabuses in NSW.

Deconstructing literary texts

Your editorial urged that, in senior secondary English classes, students should be taught to enjoy, appreciate and study literary texts (or pieces of literature if the word "texts" is upsetting) rather than to deconstruct them ("Tackling school reform from first principles", Feb 22).

It is certainly to be hoped that enjoyment and appreciation are routine aspects of the process in English classrooms. However, if "deconstruct" is a synonym for "analyse", it is difficult to see how novels, plays and poems can be properly studied, or indeed fully appreciated, without an element of deconstruction being involved.

Apart from that, the paper is to be commended for not lazily resorting to the tired cliché of "back to basics" in this leader.

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

JCU Spectacular

"Double, double toil and trouble": Creative Writing and Macbeth Professional Development Workshops
Dr Emma Maguire and Dr Claire Hansen

In this double workshop PD session, join Dr Emma Maguire for a one-hour workshop on creative writing, and Dr Claire Hansen for a one-hour session on teaching Macbeth. Discover the essential e...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 25th July 2020
Venue:   Online
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Diving Deep into External Assessment

Student (and teacher) event: Diving Deep into the Analytical Essay Pre-recorded materials open to registered participants from 3pm,  with live discussion in half hour blocks from 4pm - 5:30pm. Live discussions will primarily relate to Writing the Analytical Essay, but students will be free to ask questions about their selected texts....

Category:   Student (and teacher) Event
Start Time:   3:00 PM
Date:   Wednesday 9th September 2020
Venue:   Online
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000


Diving Deep into the Analytical Essay for teachers

The Teacher workshop  Pre-recorded workshop open to registered participants, with live discussion from 11am - 12pm.
Final Preparation for the EA will explore: the advice provided in Writing the Analytical Essay; giving quality formative feedback to students; trouble-shooting common problems.
After the event: The pre-recorded teac...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 12th September 2020
Venue:   Online
Phone Enquiries:   0455464000


SCCC Resource sharing

Andrew Snee and the Senior English staff at  Southern Cross Catholic College would like to share some of the teaching strategies and modelling/scaffolding resources that have been implemented and devised for the demands of general English. From analysing representations of prejudice and alienation in literary texts to creating engaging im...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 17th October 2020
Venue:   Southern Cross Catholic College


Early Career Conference 2020: Diving Deep into Teaching

This event for teachers in their first firve years of teaching and those who are new to the teaching of English will submerge you in a new, colourful, and enchanting world where you can engage with your peers. it is also a 'not to be missed' event for preservice teachers.  This event will be re-scheduled for term 4 ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 24th October 2020
Venue:   Griffith University, Mt Gravatt campus
Venue Address:   176 Messines Ridge Rd, Mount Gravatt QLD 4122


< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

Latest News

View all

Blog Feed

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...

Impact on learning

Sep 12 2017
The following letter was submitted to The Au...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.

ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.

I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.

Read All

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected