Op weg naar een inclusive leeslijst: Een verkennend onderzoek naar evenwichtige vertegenwoordiging van vrouwelijke auteurs en auteurs van kleur in het literatuuronderwijs
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The average Dutch reading list in the upper years of havo/vwo (secondary education) is characterized by an underrepresentation of female authors and authors of color, a recent study by Dera (2019) has shown. This is problematic on several fronts. The main question of this exploratory study is therefore: how can upper years havo/vwo students be encouraged to compose an inclusive reading list? Based on four sub-questions, I first explored the state of affairs in the literary (educational) field, after which I determined that the current way in which literature education is treated does not promote an inclusive reading list – partly because it does not fully adhere the current conditions of citizenship education. In response to this and to the observation that a curriculum revision is imperative, I studied the interpretation of and influences on the current curriculum and analyzed three examples of curriculum development from practice. This has shown, among other things, that teacher beliefs play a major role in this process. By interviewing three experts in the field of inclusivity and literature – who explicitly speak out about this theme and thereby actually try to influence teacher beliefs in the importance of diversity and inclusion – I have gained sufficient insight to make recommendations for the realization of inclusive literature education. My analysis has shown that promoting an inclusive reading list should start with a revision of the attainment levels – more specifically with the enrichment of the literary conceptual system and the history of literature, in which the subjectivizing and socializing functions of literary education are emphasized. In addition, there should be an explicit place in the attainment levels for approaches to literature, such as ideology- and representation-critical approaches. Also, the current requirements that are imposed on the reading list could be expanded. Curriculum development in this context should therefore be approached in a top-down manner: it is expected that when the curriculum is reformed at the highest level, educational publishers will adapt their textbooks, which will ultimately lead to teachers using inclusive teacher materials. Furthermore, a structural and substantive training should be offered to teachers in order to maintain the skill of bringing actualities to light in teaching practices, teachers should reflect on their own choice of books and influential authorities such as Lezen voor de lijst should revise their selection of literary works. Teacher beliefs must always be taken into account during the process of curriculum development, partly because ideas about inclusivity respond to contemporary debates in Dutch society. Follow-up research could focus on scientifically mapping teacher beliefs about the importance of inclusive literature education, the problem area in foreign literature education and the role of teacher education in this area.