Teaching Pride and Prejudice in New Media Forms Utilising Critical Literacies

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Teaching Pride and Prejudice in New Media Forms Utilising Critical Literacies
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Fiona Hayward, University of Western Australia, Australia


I hated Jane Austen at school – another dead author. Why did I hate her novels at school when I now get so much enjoyment form them? I got that it had young female heroines, easily understandable themes, excoriated the nature of manners and social ritual- as a teenage feminist I was up for all that. I think rather was it due to outdated teaching - to a somewhat boring and superficial reading by the teachers. Jane, bless her, has not changed but her audience and their teachers have. So how to teach Jane Austen and give my students the same pleasure I now have without them waiting decades to catch up with her. Education authorities and leaders often talk about 21st Century education as being connected, dynamic and operating in a digital space. Technologies are already in our classrooms and in the lives of our students. Jane Austen is still there, we just need to connect our students with her. Teachers can introduce new forms of text without reinventing their pedagogy. Making full use of a Critical Literacy pedagogy teachers and students can connect with these new forms of story-telling: becoming both critical consumers and critical creators of text and meaning. I want to explore critical literacies in the literature classroom using the Lizzie Bennet Diaries vlog and the idea of Pride and Prejudice told in a series of Tweets. Yes, I am serious and Yes, I do think it will be fun.

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