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Autumn Term 2015

Unit 1: Theoretical Underpinnings

Week 1. Childhood, children's literature, and the reading experience (Guest: Laura Wood)

Required Reading:

  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit (esp. chapters 1-3). Available at the Library (classmark: F NES), free on Kindle, and free online.
  • 'Out of a Book' by Elizabth Bowen.
  • 'We Lost the Way Through the Woods' by Liz Ann Bennet.

Secondary Reading:

  • Briggs, Julia. 2000. A Woman Of Passion, Lanham, New Amsterdam Books
  • Demers, Patricia (ed.). 2008. From Instruction to Delight: An Anthology of Children’s Literature to 1850, Ontario, Oxford University Press
  • Gubar, Marah. 2009. Artful Dodgers, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Hollindale, Peter. 1974. Choosing Books for Children, London, Paul Elek Ltd.
  • Inglis, Fred. 1981. The Promise of Happiness: Value and meaning in children’s fiction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
  • Poulet, Georges. 1969. 'Phenomenology Of Reading', New Literary History, 1.1, 53-68.
  • Parkes, Christopher. 2012. Children's Literature And Capitalism, New York, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. 1907. ‘Child’s Play.’ Virginibus Puerisque And Other Papers, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 211-231.
  • Tatar, Maria. 2009. Enchanted Hunters: the power of stories in childhood, New York, W. W. Norton

Week 2. Philosophical approaches to literature and ethics (Guest: Eileen John)

Required Reading (n.b. there are quite a few things here; try to do the first task and read at least three of the aware, just because they're shorter doesn't make them the easiest!):

  • Take an hour. Go and sit in the children's section of the uni library or any library and read picture books. As you read, think about the below extracts and the questions of the module.
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics II.1-4.
  • Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, two short excerpts (a paragraph each, see the markings on the side of the pages) from Section 2.
  • Iris Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good, pp. 64-69.
  • Owen Flanagan, Varieties of Moral Personality, pp. 1-12.
  • Gareth Matthews, Philosophy and the Young Child, pp. 56-82.

Secondary Reading:

  • Booth, Wayne. 1988. The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction, Berkley, University of California Press
  • Gooderham, David. 1995. ‘Still Catching Them Young? The Moral Dimension in Young Children’s Books’, Celebrating Children’s Literature in Education, ed. Geoff Fox, London, Hodder and Stoughton, pp.151-157
  • Kim, Soyoun. 2014. ‘Escaping Institutionality: Rebellion and Gendered Space in Eric, or Little by Little and A Little Princess’, Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research, Vol. 37
  • Nikolajeva, Maria and Scott, Carole. 2001. How Picturebooks Work, New York, Garland Publishing
  • Nikolajeva, Maria. 2014. Reading for Learning: Cognitive approaches to children’s literature, Amsterdam, John Benjamins, esp. Chapters 7 and 8
  • Tandoi, Eve. 2014. ‘Unruly Girls and Unruly Language’, Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research, Vol. 37

Week 3. Development of ethical reasoning (Guest: Ameerah Khadaroo)

Required Reading:

  • Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson. Copies available in library, can be purchased on Amazon, or are likely available in local libraries in their children's section.

Will help to have read:

  • 'Piaget, Gilligan, and Others on Moral Reasoning' by J. S. Flemming.
  • 'Parenting Style and the Development of Moral Reasoning' by Lawrence J. Walker and Karl H. Hennig.

Secondary Reading:

  • Damon, W. 1999. ‘The Moral Development of Children’, Scientific American, 281(2), pp.72-79
  • Gillibrand R., Lam, V., and O’Donnell, V. 2011. Developmental Psychology, New York, Worth, pp.368-372
  • Heyman, G. and Lee, K. 2012. ‘Moral Development: Revisiting Kohlberg’s stages’, Developmetnal Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies, A. Slater & P. Quinn (eds.), London, Sage, pp.164-175
  • Narvaez, Darcia and Lapsley, Daniel. 2014. ‘Becoming a Moral Person’, in Empirically Informed Ethics: Morality between Facts and Norms, eds. M. Christen et al., pp.227-238
  • Rostan, Susan. 2005. ‘Understanding Extraordinary Moral Behaviour in Children and Adolescents’, in Education, Arts, and Morality, ed. Doris B. Wallace, pp.103-120
  • Sainsbury, Lisa. 2013. Ethics in British Children's Literature, London, Bloomsbury, pp.31-37 specifically for Bad Girls

Unit 2: The Developing Ethical Child

Week 4. Abuse and neglect (Guest: Peter Sidebotham)

Required Reading:

  • The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine. Availble at the Library (classmark F FIN), on Amazon, and likely available in local libraries in their children's section.
  • Howard, Ellen. 1988. ‘Facing the Dark Side in Children’s Books’, The Lion and the Unicorn, 12:1, pp.7-11. Found here.

Secondary Reading:

  • Dresang, Eliza T. ‘The Resilient Child in Contemporary Children’s Literature: Surviving Personal Violence’, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 22:3, pp.133-141
  • Fine, Anne. 2013. Blood Family, Corgi
  • Koenig, A., Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. 2004. 'Moral Development: The Association between Maltreatment and Young Children's Prosocial Behaviours and Moral Transgressions', Social Development, 13:1, pp.87-106
  • Kreps, Jennifer and Gonzalez, Teresa. 2010. 'The Effects of Maltreatment on Children's Moral Development', unpublished, CalPoly website:
  • Masten, A. Best, K. & Garmezy, N. 1990. 'Resilience and development: Contributions of the study of children who overcome adversity', Development and Psychopathology, 2, pp.425-444
  • Metcalf, Eva-Maria and Meyer, Michael. 1992. ‘Society, Child Abuse, and Children’s Literature’, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 17:3, pp.2-4
  • Pardeck, John T. 1995. ‘Bibliotherapy: An Innovative Approach for Helping Children’, Early Child Development and Care, 110:1, pp.83-88 – n.b. in my opinion this is not a good article, however it introduces the idea of bibliotherapy which may be something you want to follow up.
  • Reynolds, Kimberly. 2007. ‘Self-harm, Silence, and Survivial: Despair and Trauma in Children’s Literature’, in Radical Children’s Literature, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.88-113
  • Sainsbury, Lisa. 2013. Ethics in British Children's Literature, London, Bloomsbury, particularly pp.59-70 for The Tulip Touch
  • Smetana, J., Kelly, M., & Twentyman, C. 1984. 'Abused, Neglected, and Nonmaltreated Children's Conceptions of Moral and Social-Conventional Transgressions', Child Development, 55:1, pp.277-287

Week 5. Horror for children (Guest: Catherine Lester)

Required Viewing:

  • Paranorman (2012). Available on Box of Broadcasts. In order to access Box of Broadcasts (BoB) National, you will need your Warwick email address.

Secondary Reading:

  • Buckingham, David. 1996. ‘Distress and Delight: Children’s experience of horror’, Moving Images: Understanding children’s emotional responses to television, pp.95-138
  • Holowina, Olga. 2014. ‘Hell, what a chance to have a go at the classics’, Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research, Vol. 37
  • Reynolds, Kimberly. 2007. ‘Frightening Fiction: The Transformative Power of Fear’, in Radical Children’s Literature, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.131-154

Week 6. Developing ecological responsibility

Required Reading:

  • Research the Great Barrier Reef! There's no end of documentaries, YouTube videos, and websites. Make notes if you think any of them are particularly aimed at children. Why do you think they're aimed at children? What makes them different to those that you would consider 'for adults'? What do you think they are trying to convey to children or get them to do? Are they successful in these aims? Why/why not?
  • 'Nature is Speaking - Ian Somerhalder is Coral Reef' (the whole 'Nature is Speaking' series is worth analysing...some are better than others though)

Secondary Reading:

  • Bigger, Stephen and Webb, Jean. 2010. ‘Developing environmental agency and engagement through young people’s fiction’, Environmental Education Research, 16:3, pp.401-414
  • Cripps, E. 2013. Climate Change and the Moral Agent, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Dobrin, Sidney and Kidd, Kenneth (eds.). 2004. Wild Things: Children’s Culture and Ecocriticism, Michigan, Wayne State University Press
  • Gaard, Greta. 2008. 'Toward an Ecopedagogy of Children's Environmental Literature', Green Theory & Praxis, 4:2, pp.11-24
  • Gough, Noel. 1993. ‘Environmental education, narrative complexity and postmodern science/fiction’, International Journal of Science Education, 15:5, pp.607-625
  • Haste, Helen. 2005. ‘Moral Responsibility and Citizenship Education’, in Education, Arts, and Morality, ed. Doris B. Wallace, pp.143-167
  • Kunze, Peter. 2014. 'Winnie-the-Conservationist: Tuck Everlasting, Ecofeminism, and Children's Literature', The Lion and the Unicorn, 38:1, pp.30-44
  • McNaughton, Marie. 2004. 'Educational drama in the teaching of education for sustainablility', Environmental Education Research, 10:2, pp.139-155
  • Rahn, Suzanne. 1995. 'Green Worlds for Children', The Lion and the Unicorn, 19:2, pp.149-170
  • Wood, Naomi. 1995. 'A (Sea) Green Victorian: Charles Kingsley and The Water-Babies', The Lion and the Unicorn, 19:2, pp.233-252

Unit 3: The Role of the Adult

Week 7. Child law (Guest: Maebh Harding)

Required Reading:

  • Extracts from legal cases to be provided.

Secondary Reading:

  • Dworkin, Gerald. 'Paternalism'. Esp. the first paragraph of section VI on p.185.
  • McEwan, Ian. 2014. The Children Act, Vintage
  • My Sisters' Keeper - book (Jodi Picoult, 2004) and film (2009)

Week 8. Parental duties and rights (Guest: Adam Swift)

Required Reading:

  • Brighouse, Harry and Swift, Adam. 2013. ‘Parent’s Rights and Responsibilities’, The International Encyclopaedia of Ethics.
  • Overall, Christine. 2012. Why Have Children? MIT Press - Introduction.

Secondary Reading:

  • Benatar, David. 2008. Better to Have Never Been: the harm of coming into existence, Oxford, Oxford University Press. N.b. Chapter 6 of Christine Overall's Why Have Children? (seen in the required reading) has a response to this.
  • Clayton, Matthew. 2010. ‘Parents and Children’s Rights’, The International Encyclopaedia of Education, ed. Barry McGaw, Penelope Peterson and Eva Baker, 3rd Edition, Vol. 6, pp.17-21
  • Brighouse, Harry and Swift, Adam. 2014. Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships, Princeton, Princeton University Press - esp. chapter 6: 'Shaping Values'
  • Baylis, Francoise and McLeod Carolyn. 2014. Family-Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges, Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Clayton, Matthew. 2006. Justice and Legitimacy in Upbringing, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Week 9. Expectations of the adult author (Guests: Leila Rasheed and Chantal Wright)

Required Reading:

  • 'Children's literature: for white children only?' by Leila Rasheed.
  • 'A World Beyond Alice', Radio 4.
  • 'Around the Globe' by Briony Everroad and Daniel Hahn.

Secondary Reading:

  • Carter, James (ed.). 1999. Talking Books, London, Routledge
  • Fox, Geoff (ed.). 1995. Celebrating Children’s Literature in Education, London, Hodder and Stoughton
  • Gaydon, Philip. 2015. ‘An Interview with Anne Fine’, Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, 2:2, pp.184-205
  • Salway, Lawrence (ed.). 1976. A Peculiar Gift: Ninteenth Century Writings on Books for Children, Harmondsworth, Kestrel
  • Williams, Sandra. 2014. ‘Fireflies, Frogs, and Geckoes: Animal Characters and Cultural Identity in Emergent Children’s Literature’, New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, pp.100-111,

Week 10. Student-led week

Required: Your ideas for your devised piece and your notes. We'll be focusing on your planned pieces and discussing them together.


For the full 2015 assessment rubric click here.