You, Me and Diversity

Picturebooks for teaching development and intercultural education

Paperback / softback, 192 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
12 Mar 2014
Trentham Books

Price: £24.99

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Winner of the Geographical Association Publishers' Silver Award 2015.

You, Me and Diversity offers teachers and student teachers approaches for teaching children about development education and promoting intercultural understanding through carefully selected picturebooks.

Research by the United Kingdom Literacy Association in 2007 found that few teachers are aware of such books. They feel unable to select appropriate contemporary literature to use in class, and rely instead on the books they enjoyed as children. Irish Aid, through the DICE (Development and Intercultural Education) project, funded the research that underpins this book, so that teachers can make use of the wealth of excellent and appealing modern picturebooks that deal sensitively with contemporary issues.

Dr Dolan critiques a selection of the books she identifies and advises on how to use them in the classroom. She provides a directory of recent picturebooks that feature development and intercultural themes such as climate change, migration and social justice, and range from the earthquake in Haiti to the struggles for civil rights. The framework used for categorizing the picturebooks gives teachers a planning tool to ensure they offer children a full range of development and intercultural perspectives while also adhering to literacy guidelines.

Every primary school teacher and student teacher needs to read this book so they can widen their pupils’ global and cultural horizons while simultaneously developing their literacy skills.

  • Anne M. Dolan

    Dr Anne Dolan is Lecturer in Primary Geography at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. Development and Intercultural Education (DICE) is a collaborative project between Irish Aid and all colleges of education in the Republic of Ireland. It aims to equip student teachers with the necessary values, ideas, skills and capacities to integrate development education and intercultural education across all relevant areas of the Primary School Curriculum.

CONTENTS: Introduction; 1. Picturebooks; 2. Culture, intercultural education and development education; 3. A culturally diverse classroom; 4. Critical literacy and critically reading the world; 5. Learning about respect and how to develop respect through picturebooks; 6. Understanding; 7. Raising awareness and taking action; 8. Exploring the journey of refugees through picturebooks; Appendix one: Building a curriculum based on respect, understanding and action; Appendix two: Resources

'This inspirational text offers a rich and stimulating alternative to the Goveian, utilitarian orthodoxies that are infecting so much of the school system at the moment. It should be on every booklist for trainee teachers and integrated into the staff development sessions of every school. It is without doubt one of the most useful – and timely books for teachers to emerge over the past ten years.'

John Hickman, NATE, Teaching English, Issue 6

'This engaging and well-researched book explores how picturebooks can make complex social and environmental issues accessible to children. With a focus on critical thinking, intercultural learning and action-based projects, it offers an inspiring approach that promises to make a significant contribution to current practice.'

Dr Stephen Scoffham, Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University

'This book argues powerfully for the role of picturebooks in teaching critical literacy, and also for incorporating global and justice perspectives in the classroom. It makes fascinating reading and is a rich resource for teachers of all ages of children.'

Margaret M. Clark, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

'This thought-provoking and well-researched text is not only a critical manifesto: it provides practical, accessible and insightful frameworks and strategies for teachers to implement, promoting the integrated and effective use of picturebooks in the classroom, addressing a range of literacies – oral, verbal, visual and critical.'

Rebecca Long, Inis: The Children's Books Ireland Magazine 42

'Dolan makes a convincing case for the central place that the picturebook genre should occupy throughout the entire age range of the primary curriculum to help children and teachers understand and read the world critically, emphatically and independently. Through a range of picturebooks, [she] presents the reader with a detailed application of her curriculum framework and demonstrates how the core concepts of respect, understanding and action can be taught to address a number of development and intercultural themes such as contemporary events, gender, climate change and displacement/refugee children... It is an essential toolkit for teachers who will feel equipped and confident to select and use picturebooks effectively to examine complex global issues in a fun and creative manner in the primary classroom. It will enable teachers to design activities that move beyond the realm of mere description and maximise on the ingenuity of this genre to encourage their students to think deeper, analyse and evaluate the world around them to make a positive contribution in society as responsible citizens.'

Marie Moriarty, Development Education, Issue 19