Throughout ‘Literature across the curriculum’ I have learned so much more about literature being an essential conduit of learning and the power narrative literature holds to improve students’ academic and reading successes. It was amazing to empirically affirm how reading for pleasure is such a strong indicator of academic success (Krashen, 2004 p.39), (Gaiman 2013 para. 7).
Learning about story architecture and its impact on knowledge acquisition and retention really struck a chord. Discovering the way knowledge embedded in story formats transforms understanding from the superficial to the deep, with a greater chance of comprehension, relevancy and recall (Haven, 2007 p. 32) was exciting and made complete sense.
Reading aloud to students is not a nicety but a powerful necessity (Barone, 2011 p.156), (Giorgis,1999). I now recognise the impact of reading aloud to students beyond the middle years. A systematic way of reading different texts aloud (Lane & Wright 2007 p. 673) exposes students to a variety of titles and genres (Barone, 2011 p.154), encourages independent reading and promotes literacy development (Krashen, 2004 p. 39) while providing “positive and long-lasting impressions” (Giorgis, 1999 p.51). Ensuing group discussions, reflections about what has been read and drawing connections between the students’ lives and the texts are vital and will become part of my teaching practice.
In the forums I commented on censorship in the library (Blaich, personal communication, 10 September, 2015) and how important it is for students to find themselves in the pages of stories and texts. Resources which mirror a multiplicity of mirrored values and life circumstances is essential (Vandergrift, 1997. Para 2) in light of the diversity we see in our schools. I now recognise that students need to find a variety of ‘valid ways to be’ (Winch, 2006 p.413). To enable students to become empathetic, functioning members of society, there is great importance in reading, sharing and discussing a wide variety of literature (ABS, 2009) in many formals (digital & print).
Digital technology permeates every aspect of students’ reading and learning. Reading practice and pedagogy in this context is of great personal interest. The digital natives, although assumed to be such technologically intuit, savvy beings, often lack key skills (Combes 2007 p.18). I commented about their fearlessness and enthusiasm for e-devices (Blaich, personal communication, 9 September, 2015). Through the readings it became increasingly clear how important excellent reading skills are in a world of text. It was also great to discover how “informed knowledge” (Centre for Youth Literature, 2009 p.31) and grounded advice in this area can directly aid learning through trust, guidance and the provision of the right texts at the right time. TL’s need to meet students where they are (Edmondson 2012, p.43) in a manner in which they find useful or attractive, perhaps transitioning to more collaborative or interactive platforms in tandem with print. As a TL I recognise the unique position of advocacy I hold to promote literary learning using technologically innovative and meaningful means. I look forward using some of the teaching practices and skills learnt during this course to help and encourage my students to explore this digital world.
Personally, it is the impact of literature enriched curriculum and the development of key learning tools, which have provided the greatest highlight in this subject. Meaningful and practical collaboration between TLs and teachers is vital. I believe that it is my role to impart how literacy furthers students’ personal quests to find their place in the world and make sense of it (Gordon, 2011 p.54). Literacy nurtures and develops students’ emotional and intellectual needs. I look forward to becoming a TL who is informed, connected and pedagogically aware to take my place as a conduit of meaningful literature learning experiences.
Abs.gov.au,. (2015). 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2015, from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Reading:%20the%20home%20and%20family%20context~205
Barone, D. M. (2011). Children’s literature in the classroom: Engaging lifelong learners. New York: Guilford Press.
Blaich, K. (2015) Module 3 Discussion forum post. Accessed 2 October 2015 https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_31755_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_6690_1&course_id=_6052_1&message_id=_381731_1#msg__381731_1Id
Combes, B. (2007). Techno-savvy or just techno-oriented?. Access (10300155), 21(2), 17-20.
Cremin, T. (2010). Motivating children to read through literature. In J. Fletcher, F. Parkhill, & G. T. Gillon (Eds.), Motivating literacy learners in today’s world (pp. 11-21). Wellington, NZ : NZCER Press.
Edmondson, E. (2012). Wiki Literature Circles: Creating Digital Learning
Communities. English Journal, 101(4), 43 – 49.
Gaiman, N. (2013). Why our futures depend on libraries, reading, and imagination. The Guardian. Retrieved June 30, 2015 from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming
Giorgis, C. (1999). The Power of Reading Picture Books Aloud to Secondary Students. The Clearing House: A Journal Of Educational Strategies, Issues And Ideas, 73(1), 51-53. doi:10.1080/00098659909599640
Gordon, C. A. (2011). Lost in Cyberspace? Tracking the Future of Reading. School Library Monthly, 27(8), 50-54.
Haven, K. (2007). Story proof: The science behind the startling power of story: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Lane, H., & Wright, T. (2007). Maximizing the Effectiveness of Reading Aloud. The Reading Teacher, 60(7), 668-675. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/rt.60.7.7
Lisa Hollis-Sawyer & Lorilene Cuevas (2013) Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Ageist
and Sexist Double Jeopardy Portrayals in Children’s Picture Books, Educational Gerontology, 39:12,
902-914, DOI: 10.1080/03601277.2013.767650
Keeping Young Australians Reading. (2009) (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www2.slv.vic.gov.au/about/information/publications/policies_reports/keeping-reading.html
Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research (2nd ed.). Englewood, Co: Libraries Unlimited.
Comminfo.rutgers.edu,. (2015). Censorship, the internet, intellectual freedom and youth. Retrieved 3 October 2015, from http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/censorship.html
Winch, G. (2006). Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature. (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.