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Using a children’s book or YA novel as an introduction, or a piece to draw students’ attention to a particular topic can harness the power of emotions help our students connect with, learn, and retain course material more deeply (Cavanagh, 2016).
While the plot-line of children’s books may appear simple, the issues addressed can be quite complex. The newest wave of children’s literature addresses a wide range of socially sensitive topics such as racism, poverty, death, gender identity, police brutality, war, and immigration (Johnson, 2014) and often does so in a way that invites discussion rather than foreclosing it.
Though it is not commonly viewed as appropriate material for the college level, children’s literature can put a “face” on any given subject (Carter, 2012), encourage critical thinking (Frey & Fisher, 2008), enhance motivation (Versaci, 2009), and provide a safe context to discuss sensitive topics.
Las Vegas (Nev.)
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Children's and young adult literature; Higher education
Education | Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Draper, Christine A., "Using Children's and Young Adult Literature in College Classrooms" (2021). UNLV Best Teaching Practices Expo. 127.
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