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    To what extent did making an inventory of my class library cause me to reflect on and change how I teach story-writing to Junior Infants so as to live more in line with my educational values?


    Forrest, Maria (2019) To what extent did making an inventory of my class library cause me to reflect on and change how I teach story-writing to Junior Infants so as to live more in line with my educational values? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This project was initiated following the identification of a dearth of books in the class-library with subject-matter, characters or contexts relating to the Junior Infant children.The dissertation considers how this gap, in terms of literary resources, led the teacher to alter and develop how she teaches story-writing to infants. It outlines the vision, rationale for, planning and implementation of a project wherein Junior Infant children were enabled to write their own picturebooks. This entailed using modelled writing as part of the writing-workshop structure as well as other changes to the teacher’s previous practice.In the initial stage, an inventory of the classroom library books was completed, and it was discovered that the literature did not provide sufficient opportunity for the children in the class to see their lives and interests reflected.The teacher, informed by the writing and pedagogy of Froebel (1782-1852), believes that that a teacher should always“start with the child”. The children’s preferences for reading matter were discussed and recorded. Consequently, the children were facilitated over a period of three months to write their own picture books which augmented the quality and relevance of the classroom library. The theoretical framework underpinning the project is informed by the pedagogy of Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852). Literature from both national and international sources regarding the teaching and learning of story writing,is key to the work.A specific emphasis was placed on the use of picture-books as a genre of literature with its own specific merits. The process of the project is explained in detail. The ensuing gathered data is presented and analysed through the lens of the teacher, as part of the Self-Study Action Research paradigm.The teacher’s use of a reflective journal throughout the process contributes to the data-set. Nuanced analysis following the gathering of data, concludes that as a result of the teacher’s inventory of the class library, changes and adaptations were made to the practice of the teacher, benefitting both the teacher and the pupils.It was apparent that through the facilitation of modelled-writing and adaptations to practices,children, even those as young as five years of age,maybe enabled to write their own stories, providing these changes are inspired by the needs and wants of the children, It is suggested that, with the relevant knowledge, skills and belief in the merits of this approach, that a process such as this be undertaken in primary schools as part of the tools to actualise and modify the revised Oral and Literacy Programmes currently being introduced in Ireland in which a more integrated approach to literacy development is encouraged. While the revised Oral Language and Literacy Programme (2018) provides a framework for planning, what emerges, so as to best address the interests and abilities of these specific children, is a modified version of the curriculum, stimulated by child-centred, authentic practice. Significantly, in order for the teacher to be congruent and authentic in the process, she returns to her own practice of story-writing,an activity in which she had enthusiastically engaged as a child. This may assist in diminishing the likelihood she becomes a Living Contradiction (Whitehead) in terms of her beliefs and consequent actions.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: extent; making; inventory; class library; reflect; change; teach; story-writing; Junior Infants; live; more in line; educational values; Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13713
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 09:55
    URI:

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