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At a time when political leaders and media pundits seek to narrow the English curriculum and reduce its knowledge structure to the 'basics', it is helpful to revisit the potential of different approaches to learning in English that have evolved over time. In this paper I reflect on the semantic features of personal growth, cultural heritage, skills and cultural analysis models of English and exemplify their uses for engaging students with challenging texts like Macbeth. Following this, I return to case study material collected during the classroom work of one teacher and his Year 9 students, and reinterpret their texts in the light of these four models of the discipline. The development of students' work over time reveals how this teacher drew on the meaning potential of each model and demonstrates the power of a principled and recursive use of these in classroom teaching.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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