The Dance and the Tune: A Storied Exploration of the Teaching of Stories

Lorna Smith, Helena Thomas, Susan Chapman, Joan Foley, Lucy Kelly, Judith Kneen, Annabel Watson

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This paper tells a story of one student teacher’s experiences as she considers the choice of fiction texts studied by young secondary learners of English, and how those texts are taught.

Based on a series of interviews carried out in the South-West of England and Wales, the narrative provides a perspective on the limitations of current curricula offered by schools that feel bound by a restrictive assessment and inspection regime. It concludes that such curricula can stifle effective teaching and learning, and so teacher educators have a duty to provide new entrants to the profession with a range of perspectives, opportunities and experiences. Through so doing, we promote the fictionalisation of data as a valid, robust approach to educational research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalChanging English
Issue number1
Early online date31 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022


  • English Curriculum
  • Key Stage 3
  • Fiction
  • Knowledge
  • Connoisseurship
  • Teacher agency
  • connoisseurship
  • fiction
  • teacher agency
  • English curriculum
  • knowledge


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