Teaching Children's Literature

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Teaching Children's Literature

  1. 1. ELE 616 Readings and Research in Children’s Literature<br />Spring 2011<br />Teaching Children’s Literature<br />A Team Effort<br />
  2. 2. Teaching Children’s Literature<br />A subversive activity?<br />. . . I think we should . . . take children’s literature seriously because it is sometimes subversive <br />The great subversive works of children’s literature suggest that there are other views of human life besides those of the shopping mall and the corporation. They mock current assumptions and express the imaginative, unconventional, noncommercial view of the world in its simplest and purest form. They appeal to the imaginative, questioning, rebellious child within all of us, renew our instinctive energy and act as a force for change.<br />Alison Lurie. A Child’s Garden of Subversion. New York Times Books section. February 25, 1990. (May require free registration in order to read).<br />
  3. 3. Why Teach Children’s Literature?<br />“Our purposes for teaching literature to students . . . are . . . tied to our notions of the role of schooling”<br />We have left behind models of literature teaching that result in simply interpreting the texts themselves to interpreting and re-interpreting ourselves and our worlds through reading. To turn to literature teaching as a means toward understanding difference, perhaps even to change attitudes toward others and to work toward social justice, is to reach toward transformative models of reading and schooling.<br />Theresa Rogers, Literary theory and children's literature: interpreting ourselves and our worlds Theory into Practice, v. 38 no3 (Summer 1999) p. 138-46  <br />
  4. 4. The Challenge<br />Theresa Rogers:<br />A final challenge in negotiating children’s responses to literature will be to capture the complexity of their lived experiences, their private and social performances, and their play with and resistance to the demands of particular ways of reading and particular kinds of stories. What kinds of classroom communities will we create in order to provide dialogic spaces in the institution of schooling, in which, drawing on literature as an art, we help children to know in new ways, read the world in new ways, and negotiate their responses in a postmodern world? <br />Literary theory and children’s literature: interpreting ourselves and our worldsTheory into Practice, v. 38 no3 (Summer 1999) p. 138-46  <br />
  5. 5. Importance of free reading<br />Stephen D Krashen:<br />There is now overwhelming research showing that free voluntary reading is the primary source of our reading ability, our writing style, much of our vocabulary and spelling knowledge, and our ability to handle complex grammatical constructions. It has also been confirmed that those who read more know more: They know more about history, literature, and even have more “practical knowledge” . . .<br />Children’s Literature: Very Good News and Very Bad News<br />
  6. 6. Pedagogical approaches 1<br />Teacher-centered approach<br />The function of this curriculum is to transmit facts, skills, and values through mastering knowledge. . . . The teacher determines all teaching content and children are just the receivers of the knowledge. <br />The underlying concept of the teacher-centered approach is based on traditional pedagogy wherein knowledge is passed from teacher to children.<br />
  7. 7. Pedagogical approaches 2<br />Child-Centered Approach<br />In comparison to the teacher-centered approach, [the child-centered approach] claim[s] that the importance of the curriculum is to develop children’s capacities and intelligence rather than transmitting knowledge and facts.<br />The child-centered approach is based on Dewey’s (1916, 1938, 1940) theories . . . this approach emphasizes nurturing children’s original thinking, connecting the learning to children’s individual needs, and giving children diverse experiences.<br />Each approach has strengths and weaknesses . . . <br />Katsuko Hara<br />
  8. 8. Reader Response in Teaching Literature<br />Reader Response<br />In classroom practice, reader response builds upon the transaction between reader and text to encourage students to identify explanations, form their own opinions, and create meanings based on their own individual experiences. As such, in a true reader-centered classroom, these explanations, opinions, and meanings constructed by students are invited, promoted, valued, and seen as beneficial. This personal connection between the reader and the text is the primary focus of reader response theory.<br />“A Horizon of Possibilities”: A Critical Framework for Transforming Multiethnic Literature Instructionby Arlette Ingram Willis Julia L. Johnson<br />
  9. 9. Literature in the content subjects<br />Math and Literature: A Match Made in the Classroom<br />Literature is the ideal vehicle to help your students see the importance of numbers in their daily lives. Included: Author Marilyn Burns is one educator who says, “Math and literature together? Why not!”<br />In Books by Marilyn Burns, Burns uses traditional and original literature to address mathematical concepts. Her efforts show students that those subjects, like most classroom topics, are interrelated. <br />Cara BafileEducation World®Copyright © 2001 Education World<br />
  10. 10. Multicultural literature<br />Suggested teaching methods<br />Reader response groups<br />Response journals<br />From Judith Y. Singer and Sally A. Smith (2003). “The Potential of Multicultural Literature: Changing Understanding of Self and Others.” Multicultural Perspectives 5 (2), 17-23.<br />
  11. 11. A Collaborative Model (now no longer in operation)<br />What was Tall Tree? <br />The Reader’s Digest Foundation Tall Tree Initiative has created an exciting new model for children’s library services in Westchester County, New York. That model is based on an unprecedented level of cooperation between local schools and the community’s public library.<br />
  12. 12. What were the benefits?<br />More effectiveness!<br />By working together, librarians and teachers can more effectively enhance student skills, and offer youngsters a world of reading and information experiences far richer than any institution could individually provide. <br />-- in just the second full year of Tall Tree learning activities, New Rochelle educators and librarians already credit Tall Tree with improving students' information skills, increasing library use and causing parental involvement. <br />What is Tall Tree?<br />
  13. 13. Where are the media specialists?<br />They should not be left out!<br />In a similar partnership to Tall Tree in Oregon, “perceiving the public library as a threat to their own jobs, [the local media specialists] are reluctant to advertise services they consider to be duplicating or overriding their roles. This creates a dilemma for the public library-how can we provide students with necessary services without appearing to substitute, replicate or duplicate the teacher-librarian’s role?”<br />Public/School Library Planning Project, Fourth Quarterly Report (no longer available)<br />
  14. 14. Are media specialists useful?<br />Libraries Called Key<br />(2004, February/March). Reading Today, 21(4), 1, 4. <br />
  15. 15. English teachers think so, too!<br />Resolution on Supporting School and Community Libraries 2005 <br />Educational research demonstrates that the services of professional school librarians, well-funded collections, and rich digital resources enhance student achievement. These research studies show that, when classroom teachers collaborate with full-time, credentialed school librarians to design, implement, and assess instruction, student achievement increases significantly (see the Library Research Service Web site at http://www.lrs.org/impact.php).<br />
  16. 16. They got power!<br />Information Power (1998)<br />Roles and Responsibilities of the School Library Media Specialist<br />As teacher <br />As instructional partner <br />As information specialist <br />As program administrator <br />
  17. 17. They empower learners<br />Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs<br />Empowering Learners advances school library media programs to meet the needs of the changing school library environment and is guided by the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action.<br />17<br />
  18. 18. 18<br />18<br />From:<br />Listen to the Voices:Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries<br />Dr Ross J ToddPresentation at KLA 2006<br />
  19. 19. Are there definite results from school/library partnerships?<br />The answer . . . is a resoundingyes!<br />Students in schools with well-planned library media programs and well documented collection development policies, and whose relationships with public libraries include book talks and summer reading programs averaged reading scores up to 15 points higher than those without such LM programs.<br />October 7, 1998<br />
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  22. 22. You can prove it for yourself!<br />Evidence-based practice<br />
  23. 23. School Libraries Leading Learning:from Ross Todd’s Kentucky Address Fall 2006School Libraries Work! <br />Learning to Read<br />Transformational Role of School Libraries<br />Reading to Learn<br />
  24. 24. A current California campaign<br />What is a Strong School Library?<br />As school libraries close, children of poverty lose access and the achievement gap grows larger. The easy solution, and one backed up by over 20 state and international studies confirms that access to books allows children to read more. Reading more creates better readers. The school library provides access to books, plus access to the professional who can lead our children into their digital future safely and thinking critically about their world - both virtual and real.<br />See also Library Advocate<br />24<br />
  25. 25. The Challenge!<br />Being a team player<br />It Takes a Village <br />We smother learning when we sequester it from the community. We strengthen it when we bring students and adults together -- in whatever ways fit the situation best -- to keep company with each other, ask each other questions, and witness each other's hands and minds at work. <br />
  26. 26. A literary village?<br /><ul><li>Would the community idea be something that could be applied to teaching children’s literature?</li></ul>26<br />

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