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At some point in the mid 1990s, and inspired by my readings in postcolonial literary theory, I came up with the idea of “decolonizing the classroom.” In teaching literature, I wanted some overarching and guiding theory towards giving students a greater sense of autonomy over and responsibility for their own learning, and this seemed like an apt metaphor for the kind of processes that I wanted to encourage. I developed the concept of the Interpretive Problem (IP). I defined it as a question that we might wrestle with or disagree about as readers; to that extent, puzzling out the solution to an IP might enhance the aesthetic experience of reading that text and open up new insights.
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