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June 2004


Children's literature is more than a cute, fluffy way to amuse or teach children to read, write, or behave. It can also be challenging, provocative, inspiring, and beautiful. In Literature for Children we explore the multifaceted and often surprising world of children's literature. The State of Kansas requires education majors to take this class in an English Department because it understands that creative and effective teaching needs to spring from an in-depth knowledge of and respect for the discipline.

Here are some of the General Education Standards that Elementary Education majors are expected to meet:

Standard #1 for Professional Education reads:

"The educator demonstrates the ability to use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of each discipline he or she teaches and can create opportunities that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for all students."

English 355 provides the basic knowledge of the "central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures" of the discipline of English to prepare you to meet this standard for language arts.

Standard #1 for Early Childhood-Late Childhood (K-6th) reads:

"The kindergarten through sixth grade teacher demonstrates a high level of competence in use of the English language arts and knows, understands, and uses concepts from emerging literacy, reading, language, and child development to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills, and to help all students successfully apply their developing literacy skills to many different situations, materials, and ideas."

English 355 helps you develop that "high level of competence" in language arts.

By learning about children's literature in depth, by expressing yourselves orally and in writing, by learning to think critically about literature and resources about literature, and by experiencing and using instructional technologies, you will be prepared to meet the Teacher Education Licensing Standards of Kansas' State Department of Education. For these reasons, Literature for Children is also a General Education course.

The goals of this class include

*Introducing you to major genres of children's literature: picture books, animal stories, myths, fairy tales, fiction (both realistic and fantastic), and poetry

*Introducing you to techniques of "close reading," a fundamental tool for interpreting literature effectively

*Appreciating the aesthetics of children's literature

*Introducing you to concepts and practices of multiculturalism in children's literature

*Introducing you to ways you can use instructional technology to enhance learning about literature

This page was last updated Monday, June 7, 2004
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