DOC

Bildung, evaluation and assessment

By Denise Wilson,2014-10-17 10:35
12 views 0
Bildung, evaluation and assessment

    Language Policy Division Division des Politiques linguistiques

     Contents

    Text, literature and “Bildung”

    Irene Pieper (ed.), Laila Aase, Mike Fleming, Florentina mihăian

Languages as a subject in

    Languages of Education

Languages of Education

Text, literature and “Bildung

    Irene Pieper (ed.), Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany Laila Aase, Nordisk institutt, Norway

    Mike Fleming, University of Durham, United Kingdom

    Irene Pieper (ed.), Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany Florentina Sâmihăian, National Council for Curriculum, Romania

Intergovernmental Conference

    Languages of schooling within a European framework for Languages of Education: learning, teaching, assessment

Prague 8-10 November 2007

Organised by the

    Language Policy Division, Council of Europe, Strasbourg in co-operation with the

    Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Czech Republic

    The opinions expressed in this work are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Council of Europe.

    All correspondence concerning this publication or the reproduction or translation of all or part of the document should be addressed to the Director of School, Out of School and Higher Education of the Council of Europe (F-67075 Strasbourg

    Cedex).

    The reproduction of extracts is authorised, except for commercial purposes, on condition that the source is quoted.

Language Policy Division

    DG IV Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education

    ? Council of Europe

Contents

    1. Text, literature and “Bildung” – comparative perspectives 6

     Laila Aase, Mike Fleming, Irene Pieper, Florentina Sâmihăian

    2. The Literary Canon: implications for the teaching of language as subject 31

     Mike Fleming

    3. Portfolio in LS teaching and learning? 39

     Laila Aase, Mike Fleming, Irene Pieper, Florentina Sâmihăian

1. Text, literature and “Bildung” – comparative perspectives

Laila Aase, Nordisk institutt, Norway

    Mike Fleming, University of Durham, United Kingdom

    Irene Pieper, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany

    Florentina Sâmihăian, National Council for Curriculum, Romania

Contents

    Introduction ............................................................................................................................7

    1. Aims for learning with text and literature: Bildung ......................................................7

    1.1 Bildung- a concept with multiple meanings .............................................................7 1.2 Text or literature? ....................................................................................................8 1.3 Narrative and identities ...........................................................................................8 1.4 Literature - experiences of “the other” .....................................................................8 1.5 Esthetical language more than decoration .............................................................9 1.6 Literature in tradition - a way of grasping the past? .................................................9 1.7 Socially disadvantaged learners and key notions of Bildung ....................................9

    2. Curriculum analysis a comparative perspective: Approaches to literature in school .... 11

    2.1 Reference points.................................................................................................... 11 2.2 Major common and different points in dealing with literature ................................ 12 2.3 Implicit and explicit views of literature ................................................................. 12 2.4 Explicit and implicit views on learning and teaching literature .............................. 16 2.5 Views on evaluating and assessing students‟ competences in the field of literature 16

    2.6 Weak points in designing, teaching, learning or assessing literature....................... 17

    3. Bildung and Assessment .............................................................................................. 17 3.1 Bildung, process and development ........................................................................ 17 3.2 Bildung, competences and „Bildungsstandards‟ ..................................................... 18

    4. Conclusion: Rich learning environments for the domain „literature‟ .............................. 21

    Appendix .............................................................................................................................. 23

    1) Curricular standards in the Romanian curriculum .......................................................... 23 2) Attainment targets in the National Curriculum for England ........................................... 24 3) Competence aims in the Norwegian subject curriculum ................................................ 25 4) The central German Bildungsstandards ......................................................................... 28

    6

Introduction

    Literature plays an important role in most Language as Subject (LS) classrooms in Europe although we see variations in content and teaching approaches as well as in how literature is justified in the curriculum. Some countries emphasise the national canon, others read European or world literature. Some countries read contemporary as well as traditional literature, others mostly traditional. In primary school child literature, narrative as well as children‟s rhyme and poetry normally has a place and fairytales are often read throughout the classes. Later on, contemporary or traditional canonical texts tend to play a more prominent role. The function of literature in LS is often connected to the notion of Bildung,

    in other words: literature is thought of as a means to understand and be able to participate in culture according to underlying values in culture. The reasons and

    justifications for this are often hidden and taken for granted. In a situation where this indisputable role of literature is being challenged, the need for understanding the function of literature in schools has become more urgent and the need for describing and analysing why literature is important within LS seems to be a new challenge for LS teachers and curriculum makers. The justification for literature may range from utilitarian arguments to great expectations for development of national, cultural or personal identities. In the following we shall present some assumptions of how text and literature functions within the frame of Bildung in a comparative perspective. This study will consist of three parts. In the first part we shall examine the concept of Bildung and suggest a way of understanding

    it in an educational context of modern society. In this part we shall also suggest different ways of justifying literature in schools in which Bildung plays an important part and briefly

    discuss how concepts like text and literature are understood in different ways. In the second part of this paper we shall present a comparative curriculum analysis of four countries in Europe: Germany, Great-Britain, Norway and Romania to identify resemblances and differences in the LS ideology and practice. The third section of this paper is a discussion on Bildung and assessment on the basis of the German example

    Bildungstandards”. This discussion also offers insights into attainment targets at the end of primary and towards the end of compulsory education in Germany. An appendix assembles data from the compared curricula that show curricula expectations in language as a subject at the end of primary and the end of compulsory education. 1. Aims for learning with text and literature: Bildung

    1.1 Bildung- a concept with multiple meanings

    The German concept of Bildung has seen a revival within Nordic and Germanistic countries thfrom the 1960s and onwards. This 18 century concept originally constructed for describing a way of combining knowledge and personal growth within a frame of Greek tradition, has been transformed into an aim for schooling not just for the elite, but for all students. From being an aim for a very limited group in society it has become an aim for all students. This ambition has implications for our thinking about what knowledge is, how knowledge can be obtained and who should have access to knowledge and culture.

    It is however obvious that Bildung has different connotations for many people because its

    meanings have changed during history and will sometimes be associated with a set of manners or behaviours associated with upper class or elite values. Bildung is not to be

    completely disociated from manners, but in an educational context it must be understood as an outcome of schooling. In other words: Bildung is what school can offer, a

    combination of knowledge, ways of thinking, ways of understanding and relating to other people and ways of understanding oneself. Thus Bildung provides the key to master and

    understand the culture. The cultural codes in society are based upon social values which will be part of context for any situation where language is used. Knowledge and competences are a prerequisite for Bildung in an educational context, but they are not

    identical concepts. Bildung is competences plus something more. A student with all the competences described within the curriculum might still not have obtained Bildung.

     7

    Bildung implies internalised values embedded in the culture and in a European setting; this means both personal as well as cultural values in relation to others.

    Whereas competences (when conceptualised as statements of behaviour) can be described in fairly objective terms, Bildung is a far more complicated term to handle because it

    implies values, and in our pluralistic societies we do not agree upon values. Still there are some common values that European tradition seems to treasure: respect for tradition of knowledge, art and scientific thinking, judgement, tolerance and generosity towards others, critical thinking and exploration of own reasoning, flexibility of mind, courage in expressing personal opinions. The strong assumption in most curricula is that these aims can be obtained through content of school subjects and social interactions in communities of classroom practices. Each school subject has a specific role to play for these purposes. Literature is definitely a strong element in this.

    1.2 Text or literature?

    Literature in some contexts is understood as novels, poems, short stories and drama. In other contexts it is a common name for all kinds of written texts. The notion of text is

    even wider, and includes both oral, written and multi- modal representation of meaning for practical as well as for esthetical purposes (see the notion of text in the CEFR). Traditionally school has had restricted interest in a few of these text forms, but in many curricula we see a turn towards a broader scope of interest. The diversity of media and different ways of communicating meaning counts for the new interest in a wider concept of text in schools. Bildung understood as the capacity of navigating in modern society most certainly includes understanding and producing a wide scope of text forms. In this paper we shall however focus on literature, and part of literature associated with art forms (German: Die schöne Literatur, Norwegian: skjønnlitteratur). The assumption is that

    literature has thematic and linguistic aspects that may challenge our way of thinking and understanding and therefore offer the possibility to play an important role in the Bildung

    processes. This does not mean that other text forms do not possess similar potential. 1.3 Narrative and identities

    It is a commonly accepted idea that narrative has an important role to play in establishing and developing identities. We tend to organise and tell our life stories as narratives, and we find models for telling our stories in hearing and reading other people presenting their stories. The fictional narratives seem to have the same functions. The narrative functions as a mirror for ourselves, we find confirmation and recognition in encountering “the other” in the text. On the other hand we may also meet the unknown and explore new grounds. Ideas of how literature supports identity building may be based on sociological or cultural models for group-forming and group structures. Often there is however a psychological theoretical basis for the assumption of literature playing an important role for identity development. The narrative provides models for different personalities and ways of communicating with others.

    1.4 Literature - experiences of “the other”

    Reading literature is a matter of having experiences seeing the world from new

    perspectives, meeting familiar and unfamiliar thoughts, milieus and behaviour. These cultural encounters may challenge our understanding of the world. Literature provides experiences beyond the limits of our every day lives, some of which we are happy not to meet in reality. But reading literature does not necessarily give an immediate access to any experience of the text. The communication between text and reader is dependent on a number of factors, properties of the text itself, as well as competences and sensitivity of the reader. LS classrooms offer reading experiences but also opportunities for learning how to have learning experiences: to interpret and understand literature through investigations of text.

     8

    An underlying assumption in LS classrooms is that interpretation of literary texts offers more than just being able to read one specific text with better understanding. Interpretations open up perspectives that can be transferred to other texts and other situations. Interpretation is thus a model for understanding other people and the world. Interpretation is based upon an understanding of literary text as being ambiguous, having more than one possibility of meaning, layers of meaning or empty places for the reader to complete. Therefore literature is read and understood differently by different readers and in different contexts. The very fact that students have to deal with possibilities of interpretations without getting certain correct answers is seen as one of the advantageous features of literature in education.

    A Bildung- perspective means to be able to accept and live with difference and controversy in society and to meet “the other” with respect. Experiences of literature from unfamiliar milieus and cultures provide possibilities for identification and understanding new ways of thinking. There is an assumption that literature thus becomes a strong tool for enhancing tolerance for other people and generosity in meeting differences in behaviour and thinking. In reading the students might encounter opinions and thoughts different from what they consider normal. In verbal interaction with others in literary dialogues they might find that other students understand the texts differently from themselves. These classrooms interactions seem to be a prerequisite for reading development because they open up new possibilities for understanding.

    1.5 Esthetical language more than decoration

    Literature includes a great variety of texts for many purposes, for learning, for entertainment, for experiences of art. The high quality texts that deserve to be called art have specific and important roles to play in LS. One reason is that these texts provide culturally valuable representations of human conditions and thoughts, another reason is connected to the language itself. In reading literature students meet a language different from everyday language. In a Bildung perspective this is important. All school subjects

    offer a language that in different ways has the function of broadening the linguistic scope for the students through subject-related concepts and genres. This is generally a scientifically based language vitally important in a Bildung perspective. Literature however

    provides experiments with language unlike other texts in attempts to grasp something the language hardly can express. In striving to challenge the limits of language the poets provide possibilities of new perceptions of the world.

    Esthetical language is an example of what functions language can have in exploration of human conditions and thus in creating culture. Language competence without an understanding of this dimension is indeed a limited competence.

    1.6 Literature in tradition - a way of grasping the past?

    The assumption that literature is the key to understanding the past is contested. At least we shall have to acknowledge the difficulty of being able to see the past unattached from our own prejudices and our contemporary values. Still literature from the past gives us possibilities for interpretation and understanding both of the past and the present. Our cultural heritage undoubtedly has an impact on our contemporary lives, our identities and our thinking. In this perspective lies the justification for giving the cultural heritage an important room in LS curricula.

    In a Bildung-perspective the question of how we understand and work with literature from the past is not without interest. There is indeed a difference between „reading for

    reading‟s sake or reading for exploring language and content in a way that has an impact on the students, their feelings and thoughts.

    1.7 Socially disadvantaged learners and key notions of Bildung

    It has been pointed out that the concept of „Bildung‟, nowadays a non-elite concept,

    implies a process that concerns personality and his/her development in a holistic way.

     9

    Bildung means the shaping of identity within a society - in a reciprocal process which allows for participation as an individual and which is based on communication. Bildung

    thus is a value-driven concept. It means the acquisition of knowledge within a contextualised dynamic of self-development in a rich sense. We have pointed out some ways in which encounters with literature contribute to the process of Bildung. It is

    generally believed that language as a whole is a key-dimension of Bildung. The process of

    socialisation in language including literature is considered to be a central aspect of this

    development. Especially when stressing the notion of integration and social cohesion it is often acknowledged that „Bildung‟ in language and literature should be focussed upon in

    education. Differences in access to language and literature are crucial factors that easily determine the learning biography including attitudes and motivations. Thus, we know that early encounters with literature do not only offer enjoyable experiences but also contribute to the development of language awareness as children meet forms of written language at an early stage. And thus, programmes which aim at offering equal learning opportunities for all children have started to focus on language-development from a very early age onwards.

    We argue that a Bildung perspective is especially apt in the case of students who are often left behind within European school systems: socially disadvantaged learners with a migrant/immigrant background. However, a learning culture which allows for participation of all students will have to take into account specific circumstances of the various learner groups. A crucial hindrance for learning has been identified in the mismatch between the interaction and learning patterns students are familiar with from their home contexts and those they are confronted with at school (see previous study by Piet van Avermaet, Socially Disadvantaged Learners and Languages of Education, 2006 / www.coe.int/lang).

    Hence, it is important that teachers are aware “of the fact that the code they tend to use

    corresponds to that of certain societal groups only.” (van Avermaet, 2006) This is even true for rather open forms of communication such as free encounters of readings within a circle. Children are often introduced to these modes of communication in the family, but this is exclusive to those families where comparable literal practices are part of the family life. Thus, to describe the difficulties of these learners with insufficient language capacities in the oral and written mode covers only part of the problem.

    However, in line with an awareness of the differences in codes and familiarity with cultural practices, an awareness is needed for the demands in reading, writing and listening. An adequate learning environment for Bildung in the field of text and literature

    will carefully balance the various explorative and open forms of communicating with text with supportive teaching towards competences in the domains of language as the subject. This might mean for example in the case of Germany the development and introduction

    of a reading curriculum beyond primary education (see previous study by Cornelia Rosebrock, Socio-economic Background and Reading, 2006 / www.coe.int/lang). Especially

    when taking into account that students coming from other language backgrounds enter the school system at different times and with very different levels, it becomes clear that the heterogeneity can only be dealt with when language support is part of the learning scenario throughout the various grades up to the very end (see previous study by Werner Knapp, Language and learning disadvantages of learners with a migrant background in Germany, 2006 / www.coe.int/lang).

    A perspective on education that focuses on Bildung for all students will still have a broader

    and thus more inclusive scope. It focuses on a rich learning environment which stresses personal development in interaction including motivation and attitudes that allow for lifelong learning. It acknowledges that the context of learning is one of diversity. The school is meant to offer meaningful surroundings for dealing with literature. These will have to reflect the plurality which has become an essential feature of our societies. It is thus also considered a place for participation in culture(s) and not only as an institution which prepares for later forms of life within society.

     10

Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email
cust-service@docsford.com