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The University of Southampton
Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research

‘Great Expectations: Teaching Dickens in the 21st Century’ Event

23 March 2013
To be confirmed

Event details

A one-day workshop aimed at trainee teachers and primary teachers (KS2 and KS3) for curriculum 2014. This event is organised by the Southampton Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research and the Southampton School of Education.

On 6th February 2012, the Independent reported that: "The Schools minister Nick Gibb has great expectations of Britain's 11-year-olds, singling out Charles Dickens' classic as one of the books all children should read before they leave primary school. But on the eve of Dickens' 200th birthday, his [latest] biographer [Claire Tomalin] warns that young readers do not have the attention-span to appreciate his work."

This 1-day training workshop aims to help KS2 and KS3 English teachers and trainees to teach one of Dickens's best-loved novels with renewed confidence, demonstrating ways in which it (and other Dickens novels) might be adapted and fitted to the 21st-century classroom to inspire a new generation of Dickens readers and meet the demands of the new National Curriculum for 2014.

Part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Dickens project run by Dr Mary Hammond (Senior Lecturer in 19th-century Literature), the workshop will bring together contemporary Dickens scholarship and established classroom training expertise. It will offer a rare opportunity for practicing teachers to share their experiences of teaching Dickens and to discuss the kinds of resources the new curriculum might demand, and thus enable researchers to consider how best to meet the resource needs of the wider English-teaching community.  The day will start with a plenary lecture from Mary Hammond introducing new research on this novel which demonstrates its 150-year history of adaptability for new audiences, its relevance to modern times, and its rich potential for winning over young readers of all ages. Three parallel but Key Stage-specific workshops led by experts in KS2 and KS3 training will then focus on some of the themes, devices, language use and dramatic possibilities found in this novel which can help prepare teachers of each Key Stage for 2014. The day will end by bringing both KS groups together for a Q&A and brainstorming session in which participants will be invited to share good practice and air their views.

The workshop is free of charge, though places are very limited. Lunch will be provided, and all participants will receive a Workshop Pack containing details about the day and suggestions for further reading and classroom resources.

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Speaker information

Dr Mary Hammond,Senior Lecturer

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