Teachers' experiences in and perceptions of their 12th-grade British literature classrooms

Keisha McIntyre-McCullough, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences and perceptions of 12th-grade literature teachers about curriculum, Post-Colonial literature, and students. Theories posed by Piaget (1995), Vygotsky (1995), and Rosenblatt (1995) formed the framework for this micro-ethnographic study. Seven teachers from public and private schools in South Florida participated in this two-phase study; three teachers in Phase I and four in Phase II. All participants completed individual semi-structured interviews and demographic surveys. In addition, four of the teachers were observed teaching. The analysis yielded three themes and two sub-themes: (a) knowledge concerned teachers' knowledge of British literature content and Post-Colonial authors and their literature; (b) freedom described teachers' freedom to choose how to teach their content. Included in this theme was dilemmas associated with 12th-grade classrooms which described issues that were pertinent to the 12th-grade teacher and classroom that were revealed by the study; and (c) thoughts about students described teachers' perceptions about students and how literature might affect the students. Two subthemes of knowledge were as follows:(1) text complexity described teacher responses to a Post-Colonial text's complexity and (2) student desirability/teachability described teachers' perception about how desirable Post-Colonial texts would be to students and whether teachers would be willing to teach these texts. The researcher offers recommendations for understanding factors associated with 12th-grade teachers perceptions and implications for enhancing the 12th-grade experience for teachers and curriculum, based on this study: (a) build teacher morale and capacity, (b) treat all students as integral components of the teaching and learning process; teachers in this study thought teaching disenfranchised learners was a form of punishment meted out by the administration, and (c) include more Post-Colonial authors in school curricula in colleges and schools as most teachers in this study did not study this type of literature nor knew how to teach it.

Subject Area

Education|Secondary education|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

McIntyre-McCullough, Keisha, "Teachers' experiences in and perceptions of their 12th-grade British literature classrooms" (2013). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3608757.