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Models of childhood/Differences

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1 Models of childhood/Differences
Lecture Three: 9/11/13

2 “I’m not that innocent…”
Children’s literature and culture are shaped by society’s attitudes regarding childhood. More than one attitude may prevail at any given time. The transition from child star to adulthood is one of the narratives with which we are all familiar, for instance.

3 Models of Childhood Model of Childhood Brief description
The Romantic Child The association of children with innocence and purity The Sinful Child The notion of the child as sinful and in need of correction The Working Child The reality that many children had to provide for themselves and/or their families – the child as capable laborer The Sacred Child The idea that childhood is a separate and sacred time and that children should be protected and coddled The Child as Radically Other The belief that children are fundamentally different than adults. The Developing Child The hypothesis that children develop on a continuum in stages The Child as Miniature Adult In contrast to the child as Other, this vision posits the child as independent and autonomous – an adult in miniature.

4 Case Study: Kid Nation “For 40 days in April and May, CBS sent 40 children, ages 8-15, to a former ghost town in New Mexico to build a society from scratch. With no access to their parents, not even by telephone, the children set up their own government, laws and society in front of reality television cameras. The goal, according to creator Tom Forman (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Armed and Famous), was for ‘kids to succeed where adults have failed.’” Source: Fernandez, Maria Elena. "Is CBS Reality Show 'Kid Nation’ Just Child's Play?” Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2007.

5 The Trailer

6 The children

7 The controversies Based upon your viewing of the trailer, what models of childhood, as articulated by Hintz and Tribunella, might be at work in potential reactions to Kid Nation? Do any of you remember watching this series? What was your reaction back then? Does it differ from your adult reaction?

8 Differences: Avoid Generalizations!

9 Challenges to Idealized Visions of Childhood
Child Crime Child Sex

10 A Long Way Gone Whenever I teach Ismael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, I ask students to think about Beah’s challenge: he has to convince his readers that he was truly innocent before being forced into soldiering so that they can believe that he could be rehabilitated later. Understanding models of childhood AND understanding the different ways of being a child are central to how we interpret children’s texts.

11 Hintz and Tribunella “Clarifying how we think about children and knowing about the history of childhood will help us to understand literature written for and about them” (32) “Conversely, children’s literature can provide a way of tracing the history of childhood, since the kind of child it both implies and represents will be affected by the construction of children and childhood in the era of a literary work’s composition” (32).

12 Chapter Layout for Reading Children’s Literature
Main chapter, separated into headings and sub- headings (good for outlining as you study) Reading Critically – enabling you to see how Hintz and Tribunella apply what they have just taught you to a work of children’s literature Discussion and Essay Questions Suggested Activities and Readings Approaches to Teaching

13 Homework Read Gaiman’s Coraline Complete the Coraline handout
Be ready for a closed book quiz on Coraline

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