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The Primary Canon: A Critical Review

Jackie Marsh
British Journal of Educational Studies
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 249-262
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1556055
Page Count: 14
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The Primary Canon: A Critical Review
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Abstract

This paper argues that the existence of a canon of established and privileged texts in the primary literacy curriculum in England can be traced historically and has informed current national policy and practice. This canonisation of a particular set of literature has served to marginalise popular cultural and media texts, often the preferred texts of children in contemporary society. The paper examines the historical development of an established, hegemonic body of texts and critically analyses current national curricula frameworks for primary literacy in order to determine the way in which reading material is framed. It is argued that current national policy enshrines particular textual traditions at the expense of more popular forms of material and that this has major implications for the relevance of the future primary literacy curriculum.

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