In-depth examination of the themes that permeate current offerings from the world of publishing for children and young adults; emphasis on the following topics: literary theory, cultural representation, censorship issues, aesthetics, bibliotherapy, and pedagogical implications.
*Course meets requirement for Aesthetic Dimension of Education Studies Minor and is cross-listed with the English department. It meets the distributional standard for Literature.
This course is a survey of children’s literature during which we will explore through reading and discussion a wide range of genres and issues related to children’s books globally. During this course you will:
gain a better understanding of yourself as a reader and of how to engage in personal and critical response to literature.
develop a broad knowledge of the various genres and types of books for children, including the major authors and illustrators of these books.
be able to evaluate the literary quality and appropriateness of specific children’s books.
be familiar with the literary and artistic elements and how they interact to create an effective book for children.
examine the role of literature in the lives of children.
explore and practice ways to engage children with literature for both personal and academic purposes.
develop an awareness of social, multicultural and global issues as they connect to literature for children.
Beliefs about learning:
Our class experiences are based on the following beliefs about learning (adapted from Dr. Kathy Short):
Learning is an active process. We will immerse ourselves into reading and responding in various ways to many children’s books.
Learning is a social process of collaborating with others. We will explore our thinking about our reading through dialogue and projects in small groups. There will be many opportunities for informal interaction and sharing about literature in small group and whole class experiences.
Learning occurs when we make connections to our own experiences. We will respond to literature through making personal connections to our reading and then exploring and critically examining those responses with other readers.
Choice allows learners to connect to their experiences and feel ownership in the curriculum. We will have choices in what we read, how we respond, and the specific focus of projects and small group activities.
Learning is reflective as well as active. We will have many opportunities to reflect on what we are learning through writing, talking, and self-evaluations.
We live in a culturally diverse world. We will explore literature from a multicultural and global orientation to expand our understanding of the cultural pluralism and inclusion in children’s lives and their world.
Learning is a process of inquiry. We will search out the questions that matter in our lives and develop strategies for exploring those questions and sharing our understandings with others.
This course adheres to the principles of diversity and inclusion integral to the Agnes Scott community. We respect people from all backgrounds and recognize the differences among our students, including racial and ethnic identities, religious practices, and gender expressions. We strive for our campus to be a safe space in which all students feel acknowledged and supported. At the same time, we understand that course content, critical inquiry, and classroom dialogues give us opportunities to examine topics from a variety of perspectives. Such discourse is a defining feature of a liberal arts education, and can compel debates that challenge beliefs and positions, sometimes causing discomfort, especially around issues related to personal identities. While we uphold and preserve the tenets of academic freedom, we request and invite your thoughtful and constructive feedback on ways that we can, as a community of learners, respectfully assist and challenge one another in our individual and collective academic work.
This learning community is composed of people with a rich variety of backgrounds, identities and perspectives. We are active co-learners working together to create an inclusive learning community. Dr. Sethi is committed to facilitating a learning context that respects diversity and inclusion while building belonging. In this learning community, all participants are encouraged to:
Reflect on and share their unique experiences, values and beliefs (in writing and verbally).
Be open and sensitive to the perspectives of other members of our class community.
Listen mindfully and actively to one another’s viewpoints and allow room for silent reflection.
Be willing to engage in open dialogues that may challenge our own worldviews.
Befriend discomfort as an instructive part of the learning process. Discomfort is often a critical aspect of learning and it is in that space that learning and growth may occur.
Work collaboratively to build a thoughtful and empathetic learning space.
Value each other’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner even across differences.
Keep confidential discussions that the community has of a personal (or professional) nature.
Use this opportunity to forge new ways in which we can create an inclusive space in this course and across our campus community.
Academic Honesty and Integrity
The Agnes Scott College honor code embodies an ideal of character, conduct, and citizenship, and is an important part of the College’s mission and core identity. This applies especially to academic honesty and integrity. Passing off someone else’s work as your own represents intellectual fraud and theft, and violates the core values of our academic community. To be honorable, you should understand not only what counts as academic dishonesty, but also how to avoid engaging in these practices. Observe the following guidelines carefully:
Review each course syllabus for the professor’s expectations regarding course work and class attendance.
Attribute all ideas taken from other sources; this shows respect for other scholars. Plagiarism can include portraying another’s work or ideas as your own, buying a paper online and turning it in as if it were your own work, or not citing or improperly citing references on a reference page or within the text of a paper.
Do not falsify or create data and resources or alter a graded work without the prior consent of your professor. This includes making up a reference for a works cited page or making up statistics or facts for academic work.
Practice honest collaboration. This course relies on open sharing of ideas and group work. However, do not allow another party to do your work/exam, or submit the same or similar work in more than one course without permission from the course instructor. Do not facilitate cheating, which can happen when you help another student complete a take home exam, give answers to an exam, talk about an exam with a student who has not taken it, or collaborate with others on work that is supposed to be completed independently.
Be truthful about the submission of work, which includes the time of submission and the place of submission (e.g., e-mail, online, in a mailbox, to an office, etc.).
Please understand that penalties result from dishonest conduct, ranging from failure of the assignment to expulsion from the college. You should speak with your professors if you need clarification about any of these policies.
Please pledge that you have completed assignments honestly by attaching the following statement to your papers and other assignments:
I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this assignment.
Agnes Scott College seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with various abilities. If you will need accommodations in this class, please contact Kelly Deasy Roy in the Office of Academic Advising and Accessible Education to complete the registration process. Once registered, please contact me so we can discuss the specific accommodations needed for this course.
Kelly Roy, Dir. of Accessible Education in Buttrick G-13 404-471-6174 firstname.lastname@example.org
For the safety of the entire community, any incidence of or information about sexual misconduct must be reported immediately to Title IX Coordinator Marti Fessenden (email@example.com, 404-471-6547) or Deputy Title IX Coordinator Karen Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org,404-471-6435).
Dr. Sethi aims to be an accessible and responsive instructor. I hold regular office hours, and usually stay after class to respond to questions. I will send a weekly reminder e-mail to all students with any updates or changes to the week’s readings and assignments. All participants are expected to read these messages carefully, and respond as needed. In the event that you need to contact me about a class-related matter, the best way to reach me is by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. I will typically respond within 24 hours. If you need to speak with me urgently, calling or leaving messages on my office phone number is not a reliable method of communication. Instead, send an e-mail including your inquiry and a phone number where you can be reached. In order to respect professional instructor-student boundaries, I do not connect with students on social media until after the course and grading processes are complete.
Students’ feedback about this course is valuable to the professor, the education department, and the college administration. Students’ comments are taken seriously and the comments are used to improve the course in the future. Students will be asked to complete evaluations of the course at the end of the semester.
Self-evaluation is an integral part of this course. You will be asked to submit an initial statement of goals for this semester. For each project, you will be asked to turn in a self-evaluation in which you state your goals for that particular project and evaluate the process you went through in reaching those goals. You will receive feedback and comments for each of your projects based on your goals and the project intent. You may resubmit projects that are not satisfactory in meeting the goals and intent. At mid-semester, you will revise your goals for the course and evaluate your learning at that point in the semester and will receive evaluative comments from me.
At the conclusion of the class, you will write an overall self-evaluation of your learning throughout the class. Your final grade will be based holistically on both my evaluation and your self-evaluation of your growth and learning related to the course objectives, the quality of your written work, and your attendance, participation, and preparation for class sessions. While you can negotiate the ways in which you define and complete class projects, you must complete all of these projects to fulfill course requirements and your final grade for the course will be based on the thoughtfulness and quality of this work with a B reflecting the completion of all course projects at a satisfactory level. You must exceed those requirements in some way to receive an A, but can choose which projects to emphasize. Your mid-term evaluation will include a discussion of the grade for your work completed as of that date so that you can establish goals for maintaining or improving your final grade for the course. Incompletes will not be given for the course except in extreme situations and only with prior approval by the instructor. Late assignments without a valid excuse will affect your final grade.