Harry Potter and the Chamber of Teaching: A Case Study Involving a Teacher’s Experience of Teaching Harry Potter, Critical Literacy, and Critical Theory

University essay from Lunds universitet/Engelska; Lunds universitet/Utbildningsvetenskap

Abstract: Several studies have discussed the possibilities of working with Harry Potter from perspectives of critical literacy and critical theory, in other words, to critically approach the novels while reading and writing. However, most of the previous research has failed to address how one can implement critical literacy in connection with Harry Potter in Swedish schools. This research project had as an aim to fill this indicated gap by conducting a case study, involving a Swedish upper secondary teacher’s experience of teaching the Harry Potter novels from critical literacy perspectives. The case study included an interview with the teacher and a collection of their teaching material. The data were analysed, and compared to previous research, in order to examine a possible generalisation by focusing the conclusions on this specific interviewee’s ways of teaching the novels. The conclusions drawn were that one can advantageously work with critical literacy and Harry Potter using different questions and discussion topics to initiate one’s students’ critical mindsets. Critical theories were concluded to simplify, or concretise, the use of critical literacy, since they provide students with more specifically addressed perspectives. Furthermore, working with the aspects of critical literacy simultaneously covers several parts of Skolverket’s curriculum and the syllabus for English. These results indicate that Harry Potter can be analysed with the help of critical literacy perspectives in Swedish upper secondary schools, by using the proposed methods of the interviewed teacher.

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