In Sweden, the occurrence of fictional texts in various media formats, including TV series, films, and computer games, most of which are in English, is constantly growing. In an increasingly digitalised society, there is a need for teaching that understands and meets the demand for aesthetic values as well as multimodality and creativity. Highlighting the aesthetic dimension of literary studies, this article reports on a small-scale practice-based study that explores students’ experiences of working with a teaching unit that focuses on text universes, literary productions, and creative learning. It argues for an innovative type of course design with the potential to strengthen students’ engagement in, and their self-assessed understanding of, literary texts, which can inspire future English teachers to adopt similar approaches in their own teaching practice.
The teaching unit was included in a programme for upper-secondary subject teachers in English. The empirical data consists of 14 students’ responses to a questionnaire that was conducted after the completion of the unit. The study shows that although some students initially found the teaching unit challenging, they later acknowledged having acquired significant insights into their own and their peers’ creative processes. Because student autonomy and student responsibility are central aspects when teaching for creativity, the teaching unit provided the students with a model that addresses the what and the how of literature teaching and learning, a model that they themselves want to use in their future careers as English teachers at the upper secondary level.