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    How can I teach Emotional Literacy to Junior Infants using Picturebooks?

    McGovern, Jennifer Francis (2019) How can I teach Emotional Literacy to Junior Infants using Picturebooks? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The purpose of this self-study action research intervention was to discover how I could improve my teaching of Emotional Literacy to junior infants using picturebooks. With mental health issues a growing concern for Irish children and facing into a new era of education following the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the responsibility to support the wellbeing of their pupils has never been more present for Irish teachers. As the country resumes schooling after the lockdown, the government also recognises the need to support teachers’ wellbeing. This study took place in a junior infant class in a mixed junior national school in North County Dublin. The group sample comprised of nine girls and seven boys, five of whom were attending support for English as an Additional Language, and all of whom were all 4-5 years old at the beginning of the intervention. I followed the action research paradigm, planning to change my practice to live more closely to my values of empathy and care. I received ethical consent and assent from the children and their parents and used both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Rigour and validity were established through reflexivity and collaborative dialogue with critical friends and a validation group. The study found that picturebooks effectively taught new emotional vocabulary which was used by the children in school, at home and in response to the emotional states of their peers. The children expressed a list of 83 emotion words, far more than the 16 named by the current curricular content. Teacher-guided questions of picturebook stories allowed inferences to be drawn as to the internal thoughts and feelings of characters not explicitly named in the narrative. These picturebook discussions indicated that children were demonstrating emotional understanding usually expected of children aged 7-11. The study fostered a positive classroom environment allowing the children to lead their learning using a class display. As the children were given choice with the display, they felt listened to and safe to contribute, which built a sense of self-efficacy. This thematic learning of Emotional Literacy, supporting the expression and autonomy of the children within a positive climate, enhanced the children’s wellbeing. Recommendations from this study suggest that a more cohesive curriculum be developed employing a whole-school, thematic approach. It also recommends that greater attention be given to teacher-wellbeing and toward improving teacher training regarding effective support of the Emotional Literacy.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: teach; Emotional Literacy; Junior Infants; Picturebooks; Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13693
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2020 17:00
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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