Deconstruction as literature instruction strategy for critical thinking development in secondary schools

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Adeosun, A.O
Okafor, R.
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The School of Postgraduate Studies, Kampala International University, Uganda
The development of students’ Critical Thinking (CT), which is one of the core objectives of teaching Literature-in-English in Nigerian secondary schools is a vital skill in learning. Using a theory of Literature - Deconstruction – the study explored how students’ Critical Thinking ability are developed through prose Literature. Five research questions were generated to ascertain the extent of teachers’ awareness and use of the theory as an approach to enhancing students’ CT skills. The sample, which is purposive, included only schools using the WAEC recommended prose text Purple Hibiscus for SSS 2 students during the second term of the 2013/2014 session in Lagos State, Nigeria. Questionnaires were administered to 50 teachers of Literature-in-English, four of which were selected for observation and unstructured interview. This was to determine the teachers’ knowledge of Deconstruction, their awareness of the relationship between Deconstruction as a theory and Critical Thinking development, and the implications of their knowledge on instructional planning, delivery and evaluation. The findings showed that most teachers utilized the traditional approaches or cultural models of teaching that do not facilitate curiosity, questioning, hypothesizing, discussion and debate in class, all of which are essential for CT development. Most are unaware of or lack the understanding of the Deconstructionists’ principles in teaching Literature which prevented them from utilizing multiple strategies that could enhance students’ learning thinking beyond simple recall or comprehension. Apart from the teachers’ scant knowledge, inadequate time for instruction, and densely populated classrooms also inhibited the use the theory. The study therefore developed guidelines for exploring Deconstructionist principles in the Literature classroom and recommended the need for continuous teacher professional development to acquaint teachers with current and updated instructional content and strategies.
Scholarly article
Deconstructionist theory, Critical Thinking (CT), Literature, instructional strategy, cultural model, traditional approach, instructional planning, instructional delivery
Adeosun, A. O. & Okafor. R. (2016). Deconstruction as literature instruction strategy for critical thinking development in secondary schools. Journal of Sociology and Education in Africa (ISSN 1116-0381), Vol. 13(2). pp. 39-54.