Beyond the Dark: Dystopian Texts in the Secondary English Classroom
Patricia Dowsett, Ellen Rees, Alex Wharton
Dystopian texts represent worlds that are both strange and strangely familiar.This seeming paradox is just one of the ways these works function as useful and engaging narratives for exploring English concepts in secondary classrooms. Accompanied and guided by their teachers, students can not only engage with the fiction, but also imagine what the world could really be like and how they might change the way it actually is.
Reading and studying dystopian works offers a vehicle for navigating and negotiating a sometimes disturbing and often disconcerting world – of finding power and personal agency in situations of powerlessness, in finding warmth, human connection and self-sacrifice in a world that can seem callous, selfish and devoid of humanity, of finding light beyond the dark.
This publication is intended as a guide for English teachers as they develop learning sequences for their students that ask them to investigate worlds both imaginary and real. Using contemporary Australian, along with some classic dystopian fiction, it shares insights and provides practical strategies for teaching a broad range of dystopian texts in contemporary classrooms.
The Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) is a national professional association established and supported
by state and territory English teaching associations. Together we provide a national voice with local impact, strengthen
professional connections and collaborate to inuence the teaching of English in Australia. We are active in:
* Leading the profession
* Advocating for teachers
* Benchmarking professional learning
* Providing state of the art resources