By Janine Schall, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX
Education is a universal right, but what children are asked to learn and the ways in which they engage in learning is very different around the world. Many children spend a significant portion of their lives in schools so it makes sense that they would be curious about how schools work and how children in different places experience school. This inquiry topic has natural interdisciplinary connections and can be a great way to begin and end the school year.
In this issue of WOW Currents, I share a text set of global and multicultural children’s picturebooks related to the school experience around the world, organized into four themes.
By Janine Schall, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Children around the world go to school, but the ways they do so and what happens once they arrive appears very different in diverse places. No matter what it looks like, schools are places of friendship, growth and learning for most children, but they are also situated in a political and cultural context that is worthy of exploration. Continue reading
By Celeste Trimble and Kristen Suagee-Beauduy
Four mornings before a young girl named Shi-Shi Etko is to leave her family and go away to residential school, she is reminded of all the things she must not forget. Songs, dances, family, laughter, joy, and especially the land. Shi-Shi Etko tries to memorize all the stones and plants and waters and the feeling of being near them. She is given a small pouch in which to contain these memories, like a sprig of a fir tree or a dried berry. She prays that she remembers each and every part of her life at home until she returns in the spring.
In September’s MTYT, Jean Schroeder and Holly Johnson discuss the last of four books that topped USBBY’s Outstanding International Books list. The common theme between these books is the need to escape. In When the Rain Comes, the main character needs to escape a natural disaster. This story shows how a young girl must deal with the immediate crisis and do what she can to save her own life and the livelihood her village.