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ERIC Number: EJ855156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-15
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Ain't Gonna Study War No More? Explorations of War through Picture Books
Crawford, Patricia A.; Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth
Childhood Education, v85 n6 p370 Aug 2009
At the height of the Vietnam War, Down by the Riverside was transformed from a traditional folk song to a popular anti-war anthem. The raucous and repetitive chorus, "I ain't gonna study war no more ...," became a rallying cry for those who wanted nothing to do with the war and the pain and controversy that surrounded it. Although it seems laudable to wash one's hands of the study of war, it may be more advisable to understand the nature of war, its complications, and its very real consequences on the lives of those impacted by it. It may be that a study of war is necessary to help young learners cope with the impact that both the threat and the reality of war have on their current circumstances, and to help them develop a foundation of social responsibility. Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, addressing issues of war with children is complicated. Educators must thoughtfully consider the ways in which they can invite children to explore these topics in a developmentally appropriate manner. Picture books provide one avenue from which school-age children can begin these types of explorations. Picture books, the type of literature most commonly encountered by young children, offer sophisticated messages through the combination of in-depth print storylines and aesthetically rich illustrations, thus making this type of literature a compact, yet powerful resource for older students as well. This article provides a rationale for using picture books in the study of war and examines picture books across themes that might provide springboards for further explorations.
Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A