Centre for Language, Culture and Learning, Goldsmiths, University of London
30 September 2022
A lot has been written and said by critics, authors, parents and teachers about children’s books and how they benefit children. But what do the children say? How do they respond to stories and use them to create their personal inner landscapes of meaning?
Goldsmiths, University of London, proudly presents ‘Children’s Literature in Action’ which explores this question through the power of practitioner and action research.
This innovative book contains a series of highly original research studies carried out by students taking the ‘Children’s Literature in Action’ module which is part of the MA Children’s Literature programme. These studies were carried out by MA students between 2014 and 2021. The authors investigate the power and impact of a range of different reading experiences for children from reception to secondary school age. Focusing on different ways in which children’s literature supports the development of empathy, critical thinking and creativity, the book is divided into four sections, each with an introduction by the editors.
Part One: six studies explore the impact of picturebooks on children’s reading and how picturebooks can be used in practice to deepen understanding of children’s own literary lives and their understanding of the wider world.
Part Two: six studies look at how culture and humour motivate young readers. These chapters truly reflect the power of practitioner and action research and should give the reader a spark to give it a go themselves.
Part Three: four studies discuss the use of poetry in the reading and language classroom as a highly personal and effective way to develop reflexivity and be empowered by the nuances of language
Part Four: three studies, undertaken during the pandemic, focus on relationships and how
they affect reading motivation. It reflects a few of the diverse physical spaces and types of relationships in which children may actively connect with stories.
Children’s Literature in Action is beautifully illustrated by our MA Children’s Literature book illustrators (in collaboration with a creative writer). The three lead editors are Richard Charlesworth, Deborah Friedland and Helen Jones. There are 19 MA alumni contributing their outstanding research studies to the book with an introduction by Dr Julia Hope and Professor Michael Rosen and a conclusion by Professor Vicky Macleroy.
Cover design and Reading Relationships Illustration by Georgia Cowley
You can purchase a paperback version of the book here.
You can also read an e-copy of the book hosted on the Centre for Language, Culture and Learning website accessed here:
Children’s Literature in Action E-Book
You can watch a recording of the ‘Children’s Literature in Action’ book launch here.
Blog by Deborah Friedland, Helen Jones and Richard Charlesworth (Lead Editors)