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ERIC Number: EJ1171939
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Giving Education a Bad Name: Bookish Boys in Contemporary American School Stories
Aitchison, David
Children's Literature in Education, v49 n1 p47-60 Mar 2018
This article discusses contemporary American school stories that appear to advocate learning and literacy as a democratic good, but actually undermine democratic possibilities by teaching young readers to think of academic inquiry as a means to selfish, petty ends. Since "learning" and "literacy" are catchwords for educators dedicated to remedying neoliberal inequities, it is understandable why authors of school fiction such as Andrew Clements and Tommy Greenwald are celebrated by educators for foregrounding the exploits of bookish characters. Yet, as is shown, the narrative arcs in works such as "Frindle" by Clements and "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Greenwald ultimately endorse the market consciousness, deregulation, and excessive individualism for which neoliberalism is known. Examining the ways in which these two novels intersect with ongoing debates over literacy standards, learning outcomes, and academic honesty, it is argued that the didactic-pedagogical imagination in contemporary American fiction for young people has a biased conception of student development and life preparedness, ideologically at odds with democratic curriculum provision.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A