Research on the literary development of pupils in the second stage of secondary education
Why should you have to read what you can’t yet understand? This is the question underlying this research and aptly points to the didactic and social problems that apply to literature education. The didactic problem is that little is known about the literary development process of pupils in senior general secondary education (HAVO) and pre-university education (VWO). As a result, the books provided, which are sometimes compulsory, are often not appropriate for pupils. The social problem is that literature education is under discussion and there are doubts about the task of ensuring that pupils are provided with adequate literary knowledge. This is a discussion that lacks any empirical basis, because little is known about the specific results of literature education at senior general secondary and pre-university level.
In his thesis paper entitled Het oog van de meester (‘the eye of the master’), Theo Witte identifies how the literary development works of pupils in senior general secondary education and pre-university education and which factors promote and impede this development. He has also broken down an extensive list of titles into the six levels distinguished by him. Het oog van de meester is aimed at teachers and literature academics. Instrument and action orientations do not lead the way, but serve as inspiration: the teacher is and always will be the master in the teaching-learning process.
This project is run by Stichting Lezen (Netherlands).