The module develops students knowledge and skills in studying adult and children's literature.
|A||Autumn Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18|
This module is designed to build on your existing knowledge of and skills in studying adult and children’s literature. It is made up of two units: Education in Literature which takes place in Autumn term and Modern Fiction for Children in Spring and Summer.
The unit Education in Literature involves investigating education through literature. The broad learning outcome is that students acquire insights and understanding about education and the various ways in which it is represented, through exploring a variety of educational and school experiences described in a range of literary texts. This unit intends to demonstrate how such works of literature can a) illustrate educational issues and provide a springboard for debate; and b) be considered ‘educational texts’ in their own right – valuable for both children and adults, particularly those adults working or intending to work within the conventional school system.
The unit Modern Fiction for Children explores the nature of modern fiction for young people in the context of studying some of the texts written for a younger audience. The broad learning outcome is that students will read, analyse and think critically about a range of literature written both for children and teenagers. By studying a range of post-war imaginative works constructed for readers in the primary and secondary school years, this module explores the host of assumptions which underpin the books and their critical reception by adults and children. In particular, students are encouraged to reflect upon the literary and social values embedded in the texts studied, and to ask what the books have to offer to developing readers. The module explores the ways in which the texts read by young people both within and outside school convey messages to and about young people concerning their developmental, social and cultural contexts.
Academic and graduate skills
Students will be expected to locate and engage with a variety of literary, literary critical, and theoretical sources as well as educational research. They will practice extracting key points from articles, identifying arguments and the evidence which support these. Students will be asked to engage with debates on set texts and resources. They will be required to communicate effectively orally and in writing. Students will also develop their IT skills by interacting with the VLE as an integral aspect of this module.
The module has 22 class meetings (9 in the Autumn Term weeks 2-10; 9 in the Spring Term weeks 2-10; and 3 in the Summer Term weeks 2-4). These will involve tutor-led input, lectures, small group activities, class debates and student presentations using a range of materials. Each class will require the students to do preparatory readings and to complete follow-up activities. Preparatory readings will take the form of academic papers, reports, newspaper articles or policy documents. The weekly required readings and the follow-up activities are clearly outlined on the VLE. Follow-up activities will be varied but may include creative writing, independent research, keeping a glossary of key terms etc.
An outline of the sessions week by week:
All the sessions are based upon the close reading of a key focus text or texts, but students will be expected to read widely around and beyond this core.
2 Theme: “You’ve got to tell us why you’re doing it”
Focus text: An Education – Lynn Barber
3 Theme: “Learning me your language”
Focus text: The Tempest – William Shakespeare
4 Theme: Educating the ‘other’
Focus text: Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
5 Theme: “The deepest gulf that separates class from class"
Focus texts: Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw
6 Theme: “Spare the rod?”
Focus texts: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
7 Theme: “No one forgets a good teacher”
Focus texts: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
8 Theme: Satirising education
Focus texts: The History Man – Malcolm Bradbury
9 Theme: Cultural capital
Focus text: The Homecoming - Harold Pinter
10 Theme: What have we learned?
Focus texts: Comparative readings suggested by students
2. Theme: Introduction to module
Focus text: The world of children’s books
3. Theme: How texts teach what readers learn – picture books and their role in developing literacy
Focus texts; John Burningham John Patrick Norman McHennessy: the boy who was always late; Where’s Julius;Come Away from the water, Shirley;Time to Get Out of the Bath, Shirle; Janet and Allan Ahlberg The Jolly Postman; Browne, A.Change; Wadell, M (ill. Helen Oxenbury) Farmer Duck.
4. Theme; Exploring a children’s classic
Focus Text: White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web
5. Theme; Humour, violence and the use of fear
Focus Texts: Morpurgo, M. Private Peaceful and Dahl, R. The Witches
6. Theme; Portraits of the family
Focus Texts: Wilson, J. The Illustrated Mum
7. Theme; Controversial Fiction
Focus text: Downham, J. Before I Die
8 Theme; Racism and Multiculturalism
Focus Text: Blackman, M. Noughts and Crosses
9. Theme; Shocking Texts
Focus text: Collins, S. The Hunger Games
10. Theme; What should be on the curriculum?
Focus text: Golding, W. The Lord of the Flies
11. Assessment workshop and directed study tasks.
12 Theme; Adults’ judgements and children’s tastes
Focus Texts: Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
13. Theme; Fantasy
Focus Text: Pullman, P. The Northern Lights
14. Individual tutorials to discuss essay titles
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
2,000 word essay
3,000 word essay
i. Formative; i.e. written work submitted during the module.
ii. Procedural; i.e. seminar performance.
iii. Summative; i.e. final submission of written work to be assessed.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
2,000 word essay
3,000 word essay
Individual written feedback reports, with follow-up tutor meeting if necessary. The feedback is returned to students within 6 weeks of submission.
The texts listed above are essential reading. Before obtaining physical copies of the older texts, students may wish to check whether they are available online via Project Gutenberg where than can be downloaded free of charge onto your computer, Kindle etc. Beyond this, a wide range of reading is expected of students on the course amongst the many works of literature which explore the themes of childhood, school and education, beyond that detailed in the reading lists and by the module tutors. They should also consult relevant journals such as Children’s Literature in Education.
Additionally, students may wish to refer to the following:
Bell, M. (2007) Open Secrets: Literature, Education, and Authority from J-J Rousseau to J.M. Coetzee. Oxford: University Press.
Blake, N. et al (2003) The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education. Oxford: Blackwell.
Coveney, P. (1957) Poor Monkey: The Child in Literature London: Rockliff.
Coveney, P. (1967) Image of Childhood: The Individual and Society Harmondsworth: Penguin
May, P., Ashford, E and Bottle, G. (2006) Sound Beginnings: Learning and Development in the Early Years. London: David Fulton.
Miles, R. (1994) The Children We Deserve London: Harper Collins.
Morrison, B. (1997) As if. London: Granta Books.
Palmer, J. and Cooper, D. E. (Eds) (2001) Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education from Piaget to the Present Day. London: Routledge.
Palmer, J., Bresler, L. and Cooper, D.E. (Eds) (2001) Fifty Major Thinkers on Education: from Confucious to Dewey. London: Routledge.
Porter, J. (1999) Reschooling and the Global Future London: Symposium Books
Postman, N. (1983) The Disappearance of Childhood London: W.H. Allen.
Spring and Summer Terms
Granby M.O & Immel. A. (eds) (2009) Cambridge Companion to Children’s Literature, Cambridge, C.U.P.
Hunt, P. (1994) An Introduction to Children’s Literature Oxford, Opus, 1994.
Hunt, P. (1996) International Companion: Encyclopaedia of Children’s literature .London, Routledge
Reynolds, K. Children’s literature in the 1890s and 1990s. London: Northcoates House, 1994.
Meek, M (1988) How Texts Teach What Readers Learn. Stroud, Thimble Press
Pinsent, P. (1993) (Ed.) The Power of the Page. London, David Fulton.