Helping teachers develop their knowledge of children’s literature and other texts

Cremin, Teresa (2019). Helping teachers develop their knowledge of children’s literature and other texts. Books for keeps.

URL: http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/issue/234/childrens-boo...

Abstract

Some teachers are avid readers of literature and other texts for the young; the readers of this magazine probably devour books for breakfast. However the OU/UK Literacy Association research suggests that many practitioners are less hooked, less knowledgeable and rather over-reliant on celebrity authors and their childhood favourites . Whilst this Teachers as Readers survey of practitioners’ subject knowledge of children’s texts was undertaken in 2008 (in 11 local authorities), the percentages remain shocking. For example 54% of the 1200 teachers couldn’t name six children’s authors, 24% were unable to name one picture fiction creator and 22% couldn’t name a single poet. Carol Ann Duffy received only one mention, in contrast to Roald Dahl who was in a league of his own. In 2015, the National Literacy Trust survey of 2300 teachers asked the same question, with reference just to authors. This revealed that the profession remains Dahl dependent; he was the most frequently named ‘good’ children’s author in both surveys (good referred to writers whose work teachers valued and found successful in class). This was despite the fact that the OU/UKLA survey was completed by primary teachers and the NLT one by predominantly secondary practitioners.

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