open access publication

Article, 2023

PHENOMENOLOGICAL EXPLORATION IN LITERATURE EDUCATION: On the theoretical development of a phenomenological approach to in-quiry-based literature teaching as a focal point for a large-scale interven-tion study in Denmark

In: L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature, ISSN 1573-1731, 1567-6617, Volume 23, Pages 1-26, 10.21248/l1esll.2023.23.1.382

Contributors (1)

Hansen, Thomas Illum [1]


  1. [1] UCL University College, Denmark


What does it mean to be inquiry-based and to explore literature in a teaching context? Based on phenomenological and pragmatic traditions, this theory-developing article is based on a perception of literature as an aesthetic exploration of existence, in that the aesthetic design is used to express and articulate ways of sensing, understanding, approaching, existing in, and exploring the world (Ingarden, 1931; Richard, 1964; Poulet, 1969). Therefore, exploring literature has a dual character in an inquiry-based approach to teaching literature. It becomes a pedagogical design for exploration of the aesthetic and existential exploration embedded in literature. This article offers a framework for a phenomenological-hermeneutic inquiry-based approach to literature education substantiated by empirical research (Elf et al., 2017) and elaborated in dialogue with cognitive and socio-cognitive studies (Zwann, 1993; Olson & Land, 2007; McCarthy, 2015). The focal point is a model for scaffolding teachers’ and students' analysis and interpretation of literary texts in order to practice a dialogical and exploratory approach in the classroom. This model will be conceived as theory-driven and empirically derived, as it has been tested in a large-scale RCT-study with positive statistically significant effects on students' competencies to interpret aesthetic texts (N = 86 schools, 265 classes, 5531 students).


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