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The Importance and Influence of Children's Literature
Transcript of The Importance and Influence of Children's Literature
A Study of its texts
and contexts Obscene and objectionable pieces of work are censored to children (in schools and in libraries)--restricting a child's exposure to seemingly controversial social and government policies. Making Children's Literature Popular Awards were created--Like the Caldecott and the Newbery,
to encourage writers of children's books, as well as interest in the
topic. Advancements made in technology: the printing press and other
efficient means of mass production helped to gain popularity. Expansion of great libraries also helped to ignite importance of books. This is also
a problem, as some libraries also inadvertantly fall guilty to censhorship and politically/socially
weighted book collections. Problems Facing
Children's Literature Making Literature
More Diverse It is a concern that authors
do not write outside of the
canon they are comfortable in
(i.e.: not enough cultural
diversityexists in the classroom). Before the 1960's,
there was a complete lack of
any children's literature written
outside of the European American
lifestyles. This is implemented through
praising authors and illustrators who
have distinguishing cultural work. When children of the cultural group depicted in literaute
see themselves, it is likely they will have a positive aesthetic
experience: they may even feel illuminated to share their own
experiences with others. Some books that were once offensive to certain
cultural groups have been updated and/or revised. It is hard to continually evaluate which
groups are/are not being portayed accurately. Some groups, ultimately, are still left out.
These include: Jewish Americans, Appalachian Americans, Muslim Americans and Middle Easterners. Critical theories could certainly help
us to understand whether or not specific ethnic/social groups
are/are not being portrayed accurately. When utilizing
a Marxist theory, it's possible that certain cultural groups
and/or ethnicities are being portrayed unevenly (in pertinence
to social classes or even authoritarian circumstances). Additionally, utilizing a theory like the Feminst theory could help us to study how women are portrayed in certain books (and again, see how that directly effects the overall diversity of the book).
Creating more diverse literature has helped
it to gain popularity. It appeals to vast audiences,
encourages diversity and promotes understanding
of a myriad of cultures. When we consider texts like Little House on
the Prairie, we can correlate the examination of
diversity (be it an accurate, offensive, bigoted, etc.) to the particular critical theory in use. Censorship This problem is furthered addressed
in the article, "Should we Burn Barbar,"
as well as the article on Censorship and Selection. It's possible that with the aid of
critical analysis, as adults, we can decide
which books are most appropriate (and under
what particular critical lens) to topics at hand.
From this idea, we can use literature to help cement
certain classroom topics; this will inspire children In the instance of Barbar, the question is risen as to how powerful/inappropriate a book is before we try to hide it from children; also raises the issue of encouraging adults to talk to children about deemable inappropriate or "ban-worthy" books to avoid distorted perceptions. Prepared Statement for Integrating Poetry
Poetry is commonly defined by scholars and adults as a form of writing and expression, established by verses and meters; commonly, it uses forms of rhyme, diction, symbolism, or themes to gain audience attention and understanding. As a future librarian—potentially with a focus in Children’s Literature—I hope to integrate poetry in two specific ways: by finding high-quality poems or collections of poems that are of cultural and educational value, and by providing opportunities for children to read aloud and listen to poetry.
I plan to accomplish finding excellent poems and poetry collections by first understanding how poems inspire—and benefit— children. I believe that while poems of self-expression and revelation are important, poetry should first and foremost teach child something finite and factual. I also believe that if children find poetry to be purposeful and inspirational, they will subconsciously be learning something valuable, as well as inherently growing in an understanding for the literary arts. I plan on finding esteemed poetry by ensuring I am using library resources to the best of my advantage; I believe that by reading a variety of recommendations as well as scholarly reviews, I will be utilizing the necessary resources to help me decide what poems and poetry collections would be the most adequate to add to the library collection.
I also plan on integrating poetry into my librarian duties by planning and executing opportunities for children to read aloud and listen to poetry; although I am arguably over-enthusiastic about my many plans under my librarianship title, I believe that read-alouds and read-alongs are two of the most sure-fire ways to promote poetry to children. First, I believe that having the opportunity for children to actually read poetry aloud will allow them to appreciate the words, the images and the themes involved in the poem. If perhaps children were able to dress up in costume or draw pictures to coincide with the poem at hand, they would be more inclined to take the time to really understand and value the poem. Furthermore, I think that listening to poetry will also help children to gain an understanding for poetry; if libraries took more time in developing relationships with poets (and authors), children would have the opportunity to hear poets passionately read aloud their own work. By hearing poetry read as the writer intended (for the poet would be reading his/her own work), children will hear and recognize the important emphases on certain words, images and tone.
Additionally, a poet is arguably the best resource available to teach children poetry; a poet understands the work—the sweat, the time, and the inspiration—that goes into creating a work of art. It is vital for children to participate in poetry workshops with poets, not only because of the inspirational value, but because of the undeniable doors of creativity that will open for children who can confidently explore poetry. Children who become pioneers of poetry will understand the importance of creativity, and the significance of becoming connoisseurs of language and words. This, quite obviously, will prepare children for their academic careers, and will give them profound practice and experience for the foundations of writing.
Inspiring Children With Literature Literature and writing can bind children
together; sharing will allow them to bridge
gaps, and understand that they are not alone Teach students the disciplines of reading and writing,
but also equip them with the ability to challenge
concepts and infer their own ideas. Try to find an appropriate balance
between the student's way of speaking
and the "language of power" (encourage
children to keep their own voice, but
understand the "proper" way to speak) Find poetry that is purposeful and powerful. This is poetry where the poet's intention isn't self expression of revelation: it is to teach children something finite and actual. Poetry is helpful for students to practice writing. Practicing writing
will make children pioneers of words and language; this will help them
to become better readers, thinkers, and expand their creative and analytical
minds, "Purposeful Poetry" "Ain't I Fine?" "Whose Standard?
English" Should We Burn Barbar? We may not want to burn it;
we should instead control its
circulation and accesibility. Critical Reading
Critical Teaching Methods and Critical Approaches to Studying Literature Critical Reading involves considering
the story and who is talking, as well as
who is not getting a chance to talk. Critical Pedagogy is a way of thinking
about negotiating and transforming the
relationship among classroom teaching,
the production of knowledge, etc. Critical Teaching is the ability to impose
thoughts and ideas to the classroom, by
inviting dialouge that leads to wonder about
injustics and societal problems. Critical Theories for
Analysis of Literature Marxist
Who has power/ where
is the key source of money
in the story.
(Ex. The Lady in Babar.) Post-Colonial Literature.
Who is the oppressor and
repressed in the story?
It is important to look at the
effect the colonizers have on the colonized.
(Ex. It is possible that Max in Where the Wild Things Are is in control of his dream...making the Wild Things the oppressed creatures. Feminist Critique.
What does the story say about women? How does that reflect women in society? Psycho-analytic Theory.
Are there possible sexual undertones in the story? Or perhaps references are made signifying psychological behaviors. Uses theories of Frued and Lacan (theory of the unconscious desires and Realm of the Mother/Law of the Father, respectively). Give Children
an Opportunity for
Interpretation. We see this incredible
advancement being made in the realm of children's literature. Children are able to become pioneers of discussion and analysis. The teacher no longer conducts the discussion. Children are encouraged to challenge the cookie-cutter ideologies of what should be the "right" way to educate themselves. Still, children do need
to be somewhat steered in the right direction. Teachers then guide the students, but encourage individual thought.