Literature Teachers’ Beliefs as a Factor of Innovation or Change Resistance

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Abstract

This article belongs to a research project on the beliefs and knowledge systems of secondary schoolteachers in Spain concerning literary education. Its primary aim is to conduct a comparative study between a novice and an experienced teacher to acquire a deeper understanding of the factors that shape the beliefs and representations of literature teachers and how these define how innovative their teaching practices are or, on the contrary, their resistance to embrace changes promoted by both the educational reforms and research breakthroughs precipitated by new socioeconomic challenges and technological advances. The qualitative methodology adopted an ethnographic approach and took the form of a case study. The main research instrument was a semi-structured clinical interview conducted with two public schoolteachers with different degrees of experience in the aforementioned stage. Results indicate significant differences in conceptions and classroom practices derived mainly from two factors: the length of professional experience and the initial training received. The findings reveal the need to update the education of experienced teachers and systematize novice teachers’ training about the tenets of what is currently known as literary education, as well as to promote further research, the results of which will lead to field innovation.