ETL402 Critical Reflection

Reading Haven (2007) was a great way to set the scene for this course. Even if we were not all literature “converts” before starting the course, understanding the research behind the power of stories would make us so. Of all the themes I think the second module – concerning diversity – was the one that engaged me most passionately and emotionally. Smolen and Oswalds’ (2011) … Continue reading ETL402 Critical Reflection

This book should die …

Our library has just received a big shipment of books and I need to make some space so that the new books don’t get lost.  On Friday I therefore did a little exercise with my Grade 6 students that I called “this book must die”. Since many of them had either read “The Hunger Games” or “American Sniper” or seen the movie, we discussed it … Continue reading This book should die …

The right to write

One of the most difficult aspects of my last assignment on multicultural and diverse literature (MCD) was coming to grips with the extent to which all literature, including MCD literature is dominated by white and/or western based authors.  When I have more headspace I’d like to write an article on what kind of criteria one could apply to assess the legitimacy of authors to tackle … Continue reading The right to write

The Power and Potential of Multicultural Diverse Literature

Abstract This article explores how multicultural and diverse literature contributes to a school library collection through its unique ability to inform, provoke socio-emotional responses and stimulate social justice and reform, while validating the experience and identity of a multicultural and diverse student body. Examples of recently published notable books are provided. Themes and conceptual tools of the genre are introduced and the role, challenges and … Continue reading The Power and Potential of Multicultural Diverse Literature

It can’t get any worse … can it?

Deep into my readings on this topic and it’s not making me feel particularly cheerful.  The statistics are appalling. On the one hand one should be glad that there are enough people who care enough to keep count. On the other, it doesn’t appear that the counting leads to any measurable improvement. Here are the statistics from 2002 to 2014 from Cooperative Children’s Book Center School … Continue reading It can’t get any worse … can it?

Activity ETL402: Children’s literary awards

One of the things we’ve been looking at as a class are the various children’s literary awards.  I’ll not dwell on the usual Caldecott / Newbery / Kate Greenaway type award, but would like to highlight a few of the awards the class suggested that particularly relate to socio-emotional or multi-cultural issues, as that is the direction that my interest is falling. (Mildred L.) Batchelder … Continue reading Activity ETL402: Children’s literary awards

Conversations and thoughts about diversity in literature

I’ve plunged into the abyss of reading 1,000’s of articles for my current course and next assignment. Well, not 1,000’s – my Evernote count tells me 333.  Nice number.  I’m also engaged in conversations, in real life with colleagues and ex-colleagues and online with my peers and people I’ve been introduced to by people who know I’ve entered this specific rabbit warren.  Not that I … Continue reading Conversations and thoughts about diversity in literature

if you name it will it come?

One of the questions I have about diversity in literature is “who does it serve”?  I know the “mirrors, windows, doors” argument but sometimes I wonder how much my relatively, well probably actually absolutely privileged mainly expatriate international school students buy into it all.  Or for that matter any student of privilege.  My “Iqbal” or “Fatima” will never have seen the inside of a sweat … Continue reading if you name it will it come?

The best of times, the worst of times

After reading the Zipes (2009) chapter two quotations sprang to mind: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” (Oscar Wilde) and “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” (Evelyn Beatrice Hall) The former quote with reference to the idea that children’s’ “literature” is being replaced with an inferior commercialised foundling and … Continue reading The best of times, the worst of times