Another excellent piece by Barbara Bleiman. Here, she challenges the current interest in teaching “cultural capital”. For Bleiman, it’s a complex thing that – as she shows – is difficult to pin down:
cultural knowledge is almost without limit, that you can’t teach it all, that it depends on which texts you’re studying, that it doesn’t need to be exhaustive but just enough to illuminate the text, that many texts provide their own cultural knowledge – they are, in fact, the way in which students absorb that knowledge. If all of this is true, it has profound implications for how we teach this kind of knowledge. I’d advocate a ‘when it’s needed, along the way, light touch’ approach, along with giving students the judgement and tools to know when (and how) to find out more.