Designing a children’s literature course for diverse adult learners : co-constructing learning spaces through creativity
Matelau, Tui; Sheehan, Stephanie; Kayes, Anne
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Citation:Matelau, T., Sheehan, S., & Kayes, A. (2017, October). Designing a children’s literature course for diverse adult learners : co-constructing learning spaces through creativity. In S. Nash and L.L.M. Patston (Eds.), Spaces and Pedagogies: New Zealand Tertiary Learning and Teaching Conference 2017 Proceedings (pp. 79-19). Unitec ePress, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4175
In New Zealand, the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s Mandatory Review of Qualifications for levels 1-6 prompted the writing of new courses to be delivered in the New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation Levels 3 and 4. In the Bridging Education programme in a large urban polytechnic, this provided the opportunity to design a suite of four courses for new-to-tertiary students in the Education Vocational Pathway. The course development team sought to co-construct a space, the Children’s Literature course, where our diverse students – in a space between their whānau (family), the world of study and their future careers as teachers – could be at the centre of their own education. The course aims to widen learners’ experience and knowledge of children’s literature, to build confidence and literacy. Through research, academic discussion, sharing on social media and creative projects, learners interact with and create a diverse repertoire of nursery rhymes, stories and illustrations to take with them into further study and practica in education settings. The course enables a deeper knowledge of, and interaction with, Māori and Pasifika literature and language, and examines aspects of other cultures present in Aotearoa New Zealand today. The creative projects give our diverse students the opportunity to share their cultural values with their peers and lecturers. This paper describes the course development and shares some examples of student work and evaluations. High levels of satisfaction, growth in confidence and academic literacy were reported. Important success factors were a strengths-based philosophy, accessible and diverse literature, creative projects and the use of social media. The conclusion suggests future directions for staff and student research.