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Title: The making of our literate masks : an arts-informed study of children's identity negotiation through interactions with picturebooks
Author: Ramos Arias, Andrea M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 9910
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis, I explore the negotiating strategies, knowledges and literacies that come into play when children interact with picturebooks as readers and bookmakers; and how children interact with discourses in representation that are pervasive throughout picturebooks. For decades, children's books have suffered from poor cultural representation, with critics noting the lack of diversity in characters, inauthentic portrayals and poor diversity among writers. Tied to young and inexperienced readers by age banding and perceptions of little complexity, picturebooks have for years been linked to the teaching of reading. In England, this is largely dominated by the use of synthetic phonics as the preferred teaching method. Coupled with what critics have called a 'pedagogy of performativity' which places intense pressures upon teachers, schools and children for these to meet standard expectations in national testing, the teaching of reading in schools tends to be approached through methods that focus on the development of skills. This study uses an arts-informed methodology to explore the relationships between children and picturebooks, and how they are connected to literacy learning and discourses in representation present in picturebooks. At its heart are six children with whom I conducted observations, interviews and bookmaking workshops during the 2014-2015 school year. The data was analysed using verbal and visual narratives, drawing from notions of portraiture and bricolage to create a responsive approach, and based upon James Britton's theory of the 'third space' of play, where children negotiate the demands of the outside world with their own inner wishes, and notions of narrative identity. The findings indicate that discourses surrounding picturebooks' complexities and representational aspects within them affect how children relate to these books, as well as how they negotiate their sense of place, belonging and self-understanding. The implications of this research have repercussions for academic, educational and publishing professionals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1049.9 Reading (General)