The Children's Literature Association (chla) has begun to develop a model elementary-school literature curriculum to help education-school faculty members teach prospective teachers about children's literature. The model is based on the idea that involving young students in literary criticism will improve their reading skills.
Elementary-school teachers usually use literature in the classroom as a supplement to reading-skills instruction, ignoring the value of literature as a primary teaching tool, according to Jill P. May, associate editor of Children's Literature Association Publications at Purdue University and chairman of the committee that is working to develop the model curriculum.
Teaching elementary-school children the techniques of critical reading, Ms. May contends, brings books and stories alive for them. Literary criticism, she says, will make it easier for teachers to teach language arts because it makes reading more interesting to children.
The chla is the first professional organization that has committed itself to work out such a program, Ms. May said. The association plans to publish a brochure that lists 20 professional books on children's literature and the teaching of literature for elementary-level instructors, she added.
For more details, write: chla Publications, 210 Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. 47907.
There are guides that advise high-school students on how to study to get better grades, there are books on what classes to take in high school to increase one's chances for college acceptance, and there are magazine articles for students on how to overcome problems at home and at school. Most have been written by adults.
But now there is a guide to getting top grades that has been written by a 16-year-old student.
Herriot Tabuteau, a junior at Xavier High School in New York City, has made high marks ever since he moved to the United States from Haiti as a 9-year-old and learned English, according to the young man's publisher.
Based on his experiences, Mr. Tabuteau has written How To Get A's in School, which features his own tried-and-true techniques for going to the head of the class, according to lbt Publisher.
In the first section of the book, the author explains why all pupils should get A's and what prevents many from succeeding. In the second section, he advises students about how to concentrate on their studies and provides hints on the best places to study and how long to study.
The third section is divided into six parts, each dealing with subjects, including English, vocabulary, spelling, mathematics, science, and social studies. And the final section offers student readers information on how to get involved in school activities that can help improve their grades, how to read faster, and how to be ahead of the rest of the class.
To order a copy of the book, which costs $6, write to lbt Publisher, P.O. Box 964, New York, N.Y. 10150.
More than half of the 500 high-school newspaper editors surveyed by Nicholas D. Kristof for his book, Freedom of the High School Press, reported that they had encountered at least one instance of censorship in the previous three years.
In his book, Mr. Kristof, who is a former professor at the American University of Cairo, notes, however, that only 6 percent of the respondents reported "repeated and continual censorship," according to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, which is published by the American Library Association. The book was published by the University Press of America.
The survey also found that: Final right of approval of articles and advertising was the responsibility of the students 14 percent of the time, of the administration 18 percent of the time, and of faculty advisors 62 percent of the time, the newsletter reports.
Among the items most frequently censored, Mr. Kristof's survey found, were: articles about sex and high-school pregnancies, student-opinion polls, criticism of the school's athletic department, and articles about faculty or staff unions.
Adventure Years Digest, a new monthly newsletter for day-care professionals, published its first issue this month. Geared to the 250,000 professionals who work in day-care centers in the United States, the newsletter is published by Asher B. Etkes, a lecturer, architect, and manufacturer who has worked in early-childhood education.
Predicting that the day-care field will increase "explosively" to employ a million people by the year 2000, Mr. Etkes says his newsletter will fill an urgent need for day-care professionals.
The publication condenses articles of interest to such professionals from more than 150 publications, according to Mr. Etkes's publicist, Richard Weiner Inc. of New York City. The newsletter is designed to provide "concise synopses of the most important field developments affecting professionals' programs and careers," including preschool instruction, programming, and management, Mr. Etkes says.
The publication will also feature original material, including answers to readers' questions and proceedings of meetings and seminars in the day-care field, according to Mr. Etkes.
The publication is available at an introductory rate of $24.95 for 12 monthly issues. For more information, write to Discovery House Ltd., 29-24 40th Ave., Long Island City, N.Y. 11101.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bill Cosby, Bette Midler, and the rock singer Sting will appear on posters announcing the American Library Association's 28th annual National Library Week April 14 to 20. Billed as "A Nation of Readers," the week is designed to draw attention to public and school libraries across the country.
The reading theme, ala officials note, is based on an essay by Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin that examines the historical significance of reading in America. Books came to America with the early colonists, Mr. Boorstin writes, and reading has been an inextricable part of the nation's democratic experience.
A nationwide photography contest on the reading theme will also be part of the celebration, according to ala officials. Local libraries will sponsor contests at the start of the new year and winners will be eligible to participate in a nationwide contest sponsored by the library association. National winners will be named during the ala's annual conference in Chicago on July 6-11, according to officials.
For information about the week and about promotional materials for libaries, write to the American Library Association, Public Information Office, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.--ab
Vol. 04, Issue 13