Logo degrowth
Scientific paper


Teaching literature, teaching change – How dystopias can initiate and support value-based education

Christian Hoiß

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Abstract: Based on Immanuel Kant’s call for Enlightenment the paper on hand relates his theses to the current behavior of mankind and demands from today’s educational representatives to act against “laziness and cowardice” among students and society as a whole. This goes along with a new focus on values which cannot primarily be built through argumentation and reasoning but according to sociologist Hans Joas an emotional encounter which then can initiate an individual process of developing new and consequently strong values. Hence, this paper suggests a combination of cognitive and emotional approaches in value-based teaching and considers literature, dystopias in particular, to be notably valuable for this purpose. Focusing on "The Hunger Games”, it is claimed that the series is literally value-able, meaning that it contains analogies to current outgrowths of our system (neo-colonialism etc.) which can be discussed in the classroom. In addition, the narrative is highly capable of stirring emotions in the reader which is, as was the assumption, essential to genuinely change students’ points of view.

Share on the corporate technosphere