A Children’s Literature Class Should Be Part of Any College Early Childhood Education Program
I took Children’s Literature twice in my career. First in 2002 at Bay State College taught by Linda Small and then in 2009 at the Harvard Graduate School of Education taught by Lolly Robinson. Both of those classes were two of the most important classes I took to help me know how to be an early educator.
Building a child’s language and literacy skills and a love of reading in young children requires being able to find quality children’s literature and an understand of what quality children’s literature looks like.
Many people think they know about Children’s Lit from their own memories. They remember their favorite Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle book. But, great new children’s books come out each year and even the great Dr. Seuss books need to be looked at with a critical eye. Yet, many college early education program do not require a children’s literature class or even offer them. Anecdotally, I have seen many new early educators come into the field without much awareness of the great children’s literature that has come out this decade or how to find new good books.
This means that children are less likely to be exposed to great new literature and teachers won’t have the knowledge to assist parents in finding new quality titles.
The best remedy for this issue is to have a children’s literature be part of all early educator preparation programs.