module specification

SS5071 - Children's Literature in Multicultural Classrooms (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Children's Literature in Multicultural Classrooms
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Reading journal
Coursework 90%   Written critical analysis (3,500 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module explores and analyses texts written for children and their relevance education in multicultural classrooms and societies.

Module aims

This module aims to:

• introduce students to a range of traditional, classic and contemporary literature written for children, exploring historical, cultural and social contexts;

• examine critically issues which arise in children’s literature including fantasy, reality, class, gender and 'race' and how these might be addressed in educational settings;

• develop understanding of audience and the implied reader, looking at narrative structure, reader response and intertextuality.


The module will draw on a range of texts drawn from literature appropriate for use in Primary and Early Years settings.

An exploration of students’ reading histories at home and in school as children.

A study of a range of children’s authors, exploring social, cultural and historical contexts within which texts are written, and an analysis of why some books become classics.

A study of narrative patterns and intertextuality within traditional and contemporary fiction, including retelling of myths, legends, folk and fairy tales.

A study of illustration and text in picture books.

An exploration of the interaction between the child’s primary experience and the secondary worlds of fiction in written and visual narratives; psychological and social processes in the reading of fiction and children’s perceptions of themselves and how they construct their worlds.

A critical study of classic and contemporary texts for children to explore themes common to children's literature

A critical study of classic and contemporary fiction written for children to explore presentation of class, 'race', gender and controversial issues

A study of children as audiences; literature as a means of social control and the emergence of popular literature and narratives in visual literacies.

Learning and teaching

The module is taught through scheduled lectures and also employs seminar and workshop formats.  Appropriate visits are made during Enhancement week 6.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

• demonstrate an extended knowledge of the range of literature written for young children;

• demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the relationship between historical, social and cultural contexts and literature;

• show a comprehensive understanding of narrative, intertextuality, illustration, patterns and themes in children’s literature;

• identify and discuss those processes through which some children’s books and authors become popular and some become classics;

• show a critical understanding of issues and themes commonly found in children’s literature and of their importance to children's learning development;

• demonstrate an understanding of the role of the author and of children as audiences and of the role and place of literature in education.

Assessment strategy

Students are required to compile a reading journal over the course of the module.  They also write a critical analysis of one from: i) a significant author; ii) two or more illustrators; iii) a selection of novels and picture books to support one curriculum area other than literacy; iv) the treatment of one particular theme by a variety of authors / illustrators (3,500 words).


Bearne, E. and Watson, V. (eds) (2000) Where Texts and Children Meet London, Routledge

Bunting, Jane (ed) (2008) Reading Power: Literacy through Literature Year 1 London, Centre for Language in Primary Education (or any year group)

Carpenter, H. (1987) Secret Gardens: a study of the golden age of children’s literature London, Unwin

Chambers, A (2011)  Tell Me: Children Reading and Talk and The Reading Environment Gloucester, Thimble Press

Collins, F. M and Graham, J. (eds) (2001) Historical Fiction for Children: capturing the past  London, Fulton

Culler, J. (1997) Literary Theory: a very short introduction Oxford, Oxford University Press

Evans,Janet ed (2009) Talking beyond the page: reading and responding to picturebooks London, Routledge

*Gamble, N and Yates, S. (2008) Exploring Children’s Literature. 2nd ed. London, Sage

Hollindale, P. (1988) Ideology and the Children’s Book  Stroud, Thimble

Krashen, S. (2004) The Power of Reading London, Heinemann

Lewis, D. (2001) Reading Contemporary Picturebooks: picturing text  London, RoutledgeFalmer

Meek, M. (1991) On being literate London, Bodley Head

Meek, M. (ed) (2001) Children’s Literature and National Identity Stoke on Trent, Trentham

Paul, L. (1998) Reading Otherways Stroud, Thimble

Pennac, D (2006) The Rights of the Reader. London: Walker Books

Salisbury, M. (2004) Illustrating Children’s Books: creating pictures for publication London, A&C Black

Spufford, F. (2002) The Child that Books Built: a memoir of childhood and reading London, Faber and Faber

* Core text