eng290 | undergraduate

Children's Literature In A Pluralistic Society

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This course examines the social function of children's literature from oral origins to modern anthologies, exploring messages in nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and early childhood fiction. Students will apply major schools of literary criticism and relate children's literature to theoretical models of childhood. The course surveys readings across cultures (European/American, Native American, African American, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino), genres (nursery rhymes, fairy tales, picture books, early childhood fiction), and time periods. It addresses portrayals of ethnicity, race, class, and gender in children's literature, and considers the implications of film adaptations of select children's stories in a pluralistic society.



This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks This course is available to take individually or To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 5 weeks

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    Children’s Literature in History and Cultures

    • Identify key milestones in the history of children’s literature.
    • Explain the social functions of children's literature in various cultures.

    Theoretical Approaches to Childhood and Children’s Literature

    • Explain how theoretical models of childhood may be applied to children's literature from various cultures.
    • Apply theoretical models of literary criticism to children's literature from various cultures.

    Images and Words in Children’s Literature

    • Describe how images and text intersect to form meaning in books for the early reader.
    • Evaluate stereotyping in minority images in books for the early reader.
    • Analyze the implications of cinematic adaptations of children's literature in a pluralistic society.

    Fantasy and Poetry in Children’s Literature

    • Recognize literary elements and structural devices in children's poetry and fantasy literature.
    • Compare how authors from various culture groups use poetry and elements of fantasy in their works.
    • Evaluate stereotyping in minority images in children's poetry and fantasy literature.

    Realistic Fiction and Nonfiction in Children’s Literature

    • Explain the role of realistic fiction and nonfiction in shaping and reflecting familial and cultural values.
    • Evaluate stereotyping in minority images in children’s fiction and nonfiction.
    • Determine the role children’s literature should play in a pluralistic society.
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