Date of Submission

June 2004


This thesis argues for the power of story and, in particular, the story of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to help build optimism and hope. The Hobbit is under-used in primary schools and this thesis demonstrates that it is eminently suitable for children. Without imagination children are vulnerable to sadness and despair. The positive development of imagination through heroic tales is likely to benefit children emotionally and psychologically. The story of The Hobbit can be utilised to develop the concept of the Hero's Journey, a persistent trope in oral and recorded literature and an archetype for virtually all human experience. In addition, the thesis shows that critical thinking skills and multiple intelligences can be developed through the use of The Hobbit.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


223 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Faculty of Education