Through my study of this subject I have developed a better understanding of literary learning. When beginning this subject I had never heard of the term literary learning. I knew it was possible to learn through literature in subjects such as English however had never thought it to be useful in any other subject areas. As my background in teaching is Personal Development, Health and Physical Activity (PDHPE) my understanding of how to integrate literature into lessons was understandingly very limited as reading fiction in PDHPE is not a familiar idea to most. I am excited to now see the possibilities of using literature in all subject areas in the curriculum.
I have learnt that literary learning and literacy are different. Literacy is something that I teach my students on a daily basis. In its simplest form it incorporates reading and writing skills but also includes learners being able to make meaning from what they learn. Literary learning on the other hand can be defined as learning through the use of literature (Combes, 2015). Cornett (2007) highlights the need to integrate literature across the curriculum. As I mentioned this is not something that I thought would be easy to do. However after completing this assessment I feel it is easier then what I thought it would be.
This subject has made me ever more aware of the need to read the resources I select for the library as I will need to have a thorough understanding of them if I am to suggest them to teachers for use in their programs. Unfortunately many teachers will not see the value in using literature to help students learn. Barone (2011, p. 2) highlights this by indicating teachers must focus on getting through content and teaching literacy skills. It is a part of the teacher librarian’s role to help teachers to understand the benefits of literary learning. According to Haven (2007, p. 6-7), stories improve comprehension, writing skills, critical and logical thinking, motivation, memory and language skills.
This last assessment has allowed me to add to my knowledge of the role of the teacher librarian. Herring (2007, p.30) along with Purcell (2010), both highlight the multifaceted and elaborate nature of the teacher librarian’s role. Both articles make reference to the teacher librarian being an instructional partner and information specialist. I feel that this assignment has given me a sound example of how I can undertake these parts of my role. In addition, Herring (2007, p.30) highlights the need for the teacher librarian to be an advocator of fiction. This again is something I feel I have extended my knowledge on.
This subject has broaden my knowledge on literary learning as well as the role of the teacher librarian. I am looking forward to implementing what I have learnt as well as begin to work alongside teachers to create a working program in my own school.
Barone, D. M. (2011). Children’s literature in the classroom: engaging lifelong readers. New York: Guilford Press.
Combes, B. (2015). Literature across the curriculum [ETL402 Module 5.1]. Retrieved January 26, 2015, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL402_201490_W_D/page/e01b27e4-b56b-4b05-00cf-9cd2cadb5e00
Cornett, C. E. (2007). Integrating the arts. Creating meaning through literature and the arts: an integration resource for classroom teachers (3rd ed., pp. 94-134). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice-Hall.
Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof : the science behind the startling power of story. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group
Herring, J. (2007). Teacher Librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: Charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies Charles Sturt University.
Purcell, M. (2010). All Librarians Do Is Check Out Books, Right? A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist. Library Media Connection , 29(3), 30-33.