Resource Archive

posted on 16 Dec 2018

A Picture-Book Resource Guide as a Response to an Examination into Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Literature Discussing Tender Topics by Christina Longworth

This is a final year undergraduate assignment by Christina Longworth of the University of St Mark & St John at Plymouth.


Discussing tender topics in the classroom is not optional, it is a statutory requirement reflected in the Citizenship Curricula (DfE, 2013). While picture-books are often viewed as valuable educational resources for young children, it is vital to not undermine the topics some of these literary mediums contain and the impact they can have on personal, social and emotional development. This research project has found that children benefit greatly from reading books that reflect real-life situations and that picture-books are used and valued as a useful resource in introducing such topics.

Analysing 95 questionnaire responses has allowed for an in-depth examination of teacher knowledge around children’s literature containing tender topics. The results have demonstrated that the vast majority of teachers and trainee teachers possess a notably poor subject knowledge of children’s books and their authors around this subject. This was not a surprising finding because existing research from Cremin et al. (2008) formed the same conclusion around teachers’ knowledge of all genres of children’s literature. However, new and significant findings have identified that the vast majority of teachers see it is as their role to discuss these topics with children and when doing so they use picture-books as a resource to support them. This in turn, leaves one question unanswered: if teachers know it is both their role and a statutory requirement to discuss these topics with children and they view books as a valuable tool to support them, why is more not being done to encourage subject knowledge development in this area?

You can read the full research document on the link below: