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NCTE Guideline

Guideline on Preparing Teachers with Knowledge of Children's and Adolescent Literature - Previous Revision

NCTE Children's Literature Assembly (CLA),  2004

NCTE members have a long history of commitment to the teaching of literature in connection with the teaching of reading and English/language arts, to the use of children’s and adolescent literature throughout the curriculum, to the benefits of a print-rich environment for all students, and to appropriate and thorough preparation of teachers.

Teacher/preservice education programs must involve

  • critical study of a wide selection of books for children and adolescents, including texts from diverse cultures, genres, and historical periods;
  • a broad view of the appropriate and effective uses of this literature in classrooms (e.g., aesthetic appreciation, reader response) and an understanding of the issues associated with such a curriculum (e.g. challenges to materials, appropriateness of selections, relations to media presentations).

Preservice teachers must have…

  • completed a course or a clearly articulated strand in children’s or adolescent literature taught by a professional with a depth of knowledge in children’s or adolescent literature;
  • sustained a continuing emphasis on the integration of children’s and adolescent literature throughout methods courses in their teacher-preparation program;
  • fully engaged in the topics related to children’s and adolescent literature, including preparation in critical analysis and competency in applying criteria for selecting literature;
  • a broad knowledge of children’s and adolescent literature, children’s and adolescent authors, illustrators and poets, resources about children’s and adolescent literature, as well as topics related to children’s and adolescent literature.

NCTE reaffirms the value of:

  • Opportunities for all students, regardless of their established reading ability, to read and respond to literature beyond basal readers and other programmed materials;
  • Extensive use of children’s and adolescent literature throughout the reading and writing curriculum, and as a valuable source in content-area studies;
  • Preparing and certifying teachers with strong content and pedagogical knowledge of children’s and/or adolescent literature.

For more information on NCTE's Children's Literature Assembly, visit their Web site:

Prepared by Kathryn Mitchell Pierce, Sylvia Vardell, and Vivian Vasquez, representing the NCTE Elementary Section, and Marjorie Hancock and Amy McClure, representing the Children's Literature Assembly.

This position statement may be printed, copied, and disseminated without permission from NCTE.

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