UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mentor-apprenticeship roles in a selection of young adult novels George, Claire Elizabeth


The apprenticeship model has been historically dominant in the education systems of various cultures in the last three thousand years. As a result, many children’s and Young Adult novels, especially in the genres of historical fiction and fantasy, incorporate master and apprentice themes. With this in mind, I seek to analyze the teaching depicted in two YA novels based on apprenticeship: The Last Apprentice and The Ranger’s Apprentice. Due to the international popularity of these novels, many children and young adults worldwide are exposed to the books’ messages about teaching and about education. Informed by current educational research, I have developed a best practice lens including four aspects: the teacher as an individual, curricular scope, instructional practices, and assessment. This thesis examines the teaching practice of the masters in each novel using this best practice lens. I found that while not always perfect, the two masters follow many elements of best practice teaching, resulting in student/apprentice success.

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