Connections 20012. Reading Children
Reading Children examines literature’s responsiveness to children and their needs. Each course explores literate processes from distinct but connected perspectives; each requires students to read children’s literature and attends to children’s responses to text. Both courses study the history of childhood as a context for understanding childhood reading.
In ENG 286, students practice critical and cultural analysis of texts. In EDUC 390, critical analysis often centers at the letter, word, sentence and story levels as participants study the processes involved in learning to read.
This connection will deepen students’ understanding about reader response theory at many levels of development and experience. ENG 286 brings this critical strand into the foreground, since authors, editors, publishers and sellers are almost never members of the target audience. EDUC 390 also focuses on these “consumers of the literature” as they grow and develop as readers and thinkers. Like the authors, publishers and sellers of children’s books, teachers are not children. The course therefore examines the challenges of planning instruction to take into account the social and cognitive worlds of children and the literacy practices that will engage and enhance learning.