A Clash of Chronotopes: Adult reading of Children’s and Young Adult Literature

By Margaret Zeegers, Charlotte Pass and Ellen Jampole.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper we explore ways in which adults engage children’s and young adult books in primary and secondary schools in relation to Bakhtin’s (1981) posited chronotope. We base our discussion on an analysis of experienced practising teachers’ own engagement with books that are offered to children and young adults as part of teachers’ didactic activities in developing literacy skills and literature appreciation in classrooms, drawing on the concept of the chronotope as going beyond the didactic to embrace the artistic and cultural in children’s responses to their reading and writing. The suggestive possibilities of the chronotope as an organising feature of teaching reading and writing in a number of genres and production of text types, affords new ways of approaching reading by teachers, at the same time as it invites these teachers to examine their own responses to the literature that they engage in the process. The concept of the chronotope opens up spaces for literary and pedagogical responses that derive from children’s own experience of their world, but we argue that teacher responses that are restricted by their own views of the world may inhibit a full exploration by children of the possibilities that the books that they encounter as didactically bound and culturally limiting.

Keywords: Chronotope, Children's and Young Adult Literature, Reader Response

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.89-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.196MB).

Dr. Margaret Zeegers

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Ballarat, Mt Helen, Victoria, Australia

Dr Zeegers is a Senior Lecturer In the School of Education at the University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, currently Visiting Professor at the State University of New York. She is an experienced researcher in education, and the Community Coordinator for the International Journal of the Book.

Dr. Charlotte Pass

Professor, Literacy, State University of New York, Cortland, New York, USA

Dr Charlotte Pass is an experienced literacy professor. She is currently teaching in masters literacy education programs at the State University of New York at Cortland.

Dr. Ellen Jampole

Professor, Literacy, State University of New York, Cortland, New York, USA

Dr Jampole is an experienced teacher educator specialising in literacy education. She is currently employed at the State University of New York Literacy Department at Cortland.

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