Dewey and Bakhtin in Dialogue: From Rosenblatt to a Pedagogy of Literature as Social, Aesthetic Practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For more than 50 years, academic conversations in colleges of education across the United States have mapped out the possibilities for a pedagogy of literature within a two-dimensional world. Along the horizontal or instructional axis, the roles of teacher and student have been conceived along a continuum, with teachers described at one end as master readers and students as apprenticed supplicants and at the other with teachers described as facilitative guides and students as autonomous meaning makers. Along the vertical or curricular axis, the purposes and focus of reading have been depicted as extending from the purely pragmatic, quasiobjective analysis of texts as biographical-historical documents, to the subtle and subjectively nuanced, highly personalized aesthetic appreciation of texts as works of art. Despite recent attempts to redraw this map (e.g., see Appleman, 2000; Faust, 2000; Langer, 1990; McCormick, 1994; Rabinowitz & Smith, 1998; Scholes, 1985), the view it permits of literary experience and the assumptions this map encodes about readers, authors, texts, and teachers remain unchallenged by the vast majority of English educators in research, teacher education, and practice today. Like all maps, however, over time and experience, this one has begun to fray along the edges and in its creases, while its relation to the world that its users hope it mirrors and produces through the direction it provides has become increasingly more open to question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBakhtinian Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Learning
EditorsArnetha F Ball, Sarah Warshauer Freedman
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780511755002
ISBN (Print)9780521831055
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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