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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Preparing and Certifying Teachers with Knowledge of Children's and Adolescent Literature

2001 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland

Background

NCTE has a long history of commitment to the teaching of literature in connection with the teaching of reading, to the use of children's and adolescent literature in a balanced curriculum, to the benefits of a print-rich environment for all students, and to appropriate and thorough preparation of teachers. A disturbing trend, confirmed by a recent Children's Literature Assembly survey, is the elimination of separate courses of study for children's and/or adolescent literature in some teacher education programs.

Teacher education programs must provide the chance for prospective teachers to study a wide selection of books for children and adolescents, including texts from diverse cultures, genres, and historical periods. Such preparation should also involve a broad view of the appropriate and effective uses of this literature in classrooms (e.g., aesthetic appreciation, reader responses) and an understanding of the issues associated with such a curriculum (e.g., challenges to materials, appropriateness of selections, relations to media representations).

To have a meaningful impact on the inclusion of children's and adolescent literature in teacher preparation and certification, NCTE must coordinate its efforts with state education agencies, other professional organizations, and institutions of higher education. Various groups within NCTE have expertise about children's literature, adolescent literature, and teacher preparation. Working together, these groups can draw on the considerable research and scholarship on children's and adolescent literature to craft an effective position statement on preparing and certifying teachers in the use of children's and adolescent literature. Be it therefore

Resolution

RESOLVED, that the National Council of Teachers of English reaffirm

  • the value of opportunities for students at all levels to read and respond to literature beyond basal readers and other programmed materials;
  • the value of children's and adolescent literature in the curriculum; and
  • the value of preparing and certifying teachers with strong content and pedagogical knowledge of children's and/or adolescent literature.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCTE develop and disseminate a position statement that fully expresses the organization's commitment to these values and that can be used by educators and their communities.

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