Information Brief 2014-1

ACT National Curriculum Survey®: High School and College Literature and Reading Educators’ Ratings of Topics in Literary Content Knowledge

Average Importance Ratings for Topics in Literary Content Knowledge

LevelTechniques & DevicesGenres & SubgenresHistory & Periods
High School3.623.192.74
College2.081.841.50

Note: Importance ratings in the survey were labeled as follows: 0 = Not Important, 1 = Low Importance, . . . 4 = High Importance.

The figure presents the average importance ratings that high school and college educators assigned to three topics in the 2012 ACT National Curriculum Survey.1 The topics deal with knowledge of literary techniques and devices, literary genres and subgenres, and literary history and periods.

Based on their survey responses, high school literature and reading teachers place a good deal of importance on these topics. Meanwhile, such literary content knowledge was rated as substantially less important by instructors of first-year college literature courses.


1 ACT, Inc., ACT National Curriculum Survey 2012: English Language Arts (Iowa City, IA: Author, 2013). http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/NCS-EnglishLangArts.pdf.


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