Mousaion - Volume 32, Issue 2, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 32, Issue 2, 2014
Author Thomas Van der WaltSource: Mousaion 32 (2014)More Less
This issue of Mousaion has as its focus children and young adults as readers and users of information; information services to children; the information sources of children and, in particular, children's and young adults' books. Research has shown that a love of reading is established at a very young age, and guidance is therefore of the utmost importance. Reading is crucial to convey information, and even in today's multimedia society, reading is still key to becoming competent at making sense of society. After all, using new media also involves a type of reading.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 2 –24 (2014)More Less
The aim of this article is to report on a pilot study conducted in 2011 that preceded a main study undertaken in 2012, investigating the reading behaviour and preferences of Grade 6 Namibian students. The aims of the pilot study were to develop an easy to answer and reliable questionnaire; to enable emerging researchers to gain experience in data collection through small-scale sampling; and to test whether the instruments of data collection were covering the main aims of the study. The questionnaire was developed and tested three times on small groups before the pilot study. In all 226 students, both rural and urban, from three educational regions in Namibia were included in the pilot study. Vast differences in the students' language ability and socio-economic situation were observed. The data analysis showed that the researchers underestimated the impact of the social desirability factor and the reading levels of the respondents. The questionnaire had to be drastically redesigned. Six further versions of the questionnaire were developed and tested before implementation in the main study. Careful reporting and recording of the pilot process ensured that a successful main study was conducted in 2012. While pilot studies are not frequently fully documented and reported on, it is argued that valuable lessons can be learnt from this honest report.
Towards a vocabulary for visual analysis : using picture books to develop visual literacy with pre-service teachersAuthor Christine Du ToitSource: Mousaion 32, pp 25 –47 (2014)More Less
This article brings together the connectedness between words and images. It discusses the increasing impact of semiotics in the field of children's literature as well as the way children are thinking and living in the 21st century. The present literacy landscape demands that teachers understand multimodal texts and are able to interpret and teach these texts. A central aim of psychology and education is to develop an understanding of how children learn and how to present teaching materials in ways to help children learn. Using visual material does not mean that all visually composed teaching materials will necessarily lead to understanding. Visual literacy skills must be taught, especially in diverse environments where every child brings to the class his/her own cultural experiences. Using picture books with diverse beginner readers needs clear and specific principles to be able to critically interpret the interaction between text and images. The article explores the integration of text and images through Preller's picture book Babalela (2000), illustrated by Andries and Erica Maritz. To explore visual literacy skills, Lohr's (2008) principles, actions and tools (PAT) design framework will be used to analyse the picture book in order to understand the visual sign system and how the visual and the written text interact to create meaning. This knowledge will enable pre-service teachers and in-service teachers to build a vocabulary for visual analysis and to develop critical reading skills, 'which is essential for any sort of critical thinking in the 21st century' (Burmark 2002:v).
Gerard Sekoto's previously unpublished children's book, Shorty and Billy Boy : the work of a South African in ParisAuthor Elwyn JenkinsSource: Mousaion 32, pp 48 –59 (2014)More Less
Shorty and Billy Boy (2013) is a children's picture book that has been edited and published from the original created by the artist Gerard Sekoto in Paris in 1973. This article evaluates it as a picture book and places it in the context of South African English picture books, concluding that it is of a high standard. Secondly, the book is examined for its South African content, since the nature of Sekoto's continued ties with his mother country is of central interest in the study of his art. Thirdly, the article evaluates the contribution of the book to Sekoto studies by examining the editorial apparatus that is appended to the book. Its scholarly standard is shown to be poor. The article concludes by placing the book in the context of Sekoto's life and work.
Author Alexander LeightonSource: Mousaion 32, pp 60 –73 (2014)More Less
Buchbinder (2011:128) writes that adaptations are often regarded as barely a step away from plagiarism; however, he notes that 'much of the literary output of classical Greek culture, for instance, consisted of reworkings of already familiar narratives'. His point is not only true of the classical Greek output, but of a contemporary adolescent fantasy saga, Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2006-2011), which retells many of the classical Greek mythological narratives in a contemporary setting. Given that many adolescent audiences may be unfamiliar with the root narratives, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians saga serves the function of re-introducing an audience to classical mythology, thereby helping them to rediscover their value. This article argues that by skilfully adapting and appropriating the monomythic hero-journeys of Greek mythology, and by retelling them within a contemporary narrative, Riordan is creating a space where readers, possibly unfamiliar with the root classical narratives, can re-discover classical mythology.
Author John MckenzieSource: Mousaion 32, pp 74 –105 (2014)More Less
It is an inconvenient truth that the state of the planet is likely to figure powerfully in both the real and the imagined lives of children, in whatever nation state children and young people are situated. Physical space as a literary trope, representing both outer and inner landscapes, has a long tradition in the telling of stories where the child listener/reader/viewer is often positioned to see nature in terms of binary oppositions. From the survival story - where the island is represented as personally malevolent - to the country garden - where nature is represented as a benign healer; from the wild forest of the folktale - where the wolf-man/rapist roams - to the benevolent beach where children play innocently, children 'read' contradictory ideas about the natural world in the word. This article unlocks some of these binary oppositions in children's literature through an examination of a range of South African and New Zealand picture books, seeking to reveal how various ideologies are inscribed in the visual and verbal space of the picture book. The article asserts that, in the context of globalisation, teachers must be awakened to the opportunity of including eco-criticism in a critical literacy curriculum, developing thus an emancipatory politic.
Training teacher-librarians to establish and manage school libraries in KwaZulu-Natal : an empirical studyAuthor Neil Davies EvansSource: Mousaion 32, pp 106 –123 (2014)More Less
The present study aimed to assess the establishing, managing and sustaining of public school libraries in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in order to recommend ways to improve the appropriateness of training and development of teacher-librarians currently offered at the University of Zululand. Both interpretive and critical research paradigms were embraced, while a case study method and inductive reasoning were followed. The findings indicate that most public school libraries surveyed are neither fully functional nor properly resourced. They lack full-time teacher-librarians who are trained to manage and integrate their collections into the curriculum. Furthermore, the quality of library services differs markedly between rural and urban schools. It is recommended that the provincial Department of Education (DoE) school library services selectively award teacher-librarian bursaries to suitable candidates and then combine these awards with the provision of core collections of books and technologies, thereby linking the establishment of their school libraries to the practical outcomes in the two-year university-based training programme.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 124 –149 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this article is to report on a small study that investigated the availability of library and information resources in rural schools of Limpopo Province, South Africa. For the school curriculum to be successfully implemented, adequate library facilities, collections, staff and funds are required to support it. Data was collected by means of questionnaires directed to all teacher-librarians and principals in the high schools of the Lebopo Circuit, Capricorn District. The study found that most schools do not have functional school libraries. Converted classrooms serving as libraries are unorganised making it difficult to retrieve and access information. Some schools use staffrooms and storerooms to house library materials but learners cannot use these materials because of limited space. Unqualified teacher-librarians lack library skills and cannot guide learners to use resources. A few schools are without electricity making it impossible to operate electronic equipment. The authors recommend that schools should be provided with library-based resources managed by professionally qualified teacher-librarians to meet the needs of learners and the aims of the school curriculum.
Source: Mousaion 32, pp 150 –172 (2014)More Less
In order for school libraries to contribute sufficiently to better information skills development and the creation of a culture of lifelong learning among students, they require backing through well-articulated policies both at national and individual school level. This article reports on a study that investigated the prevailing status of school libraries in public secondary schools in Nairobi County, Kenya. Using a survey research design, with a response rate of 68 per cent for school principals and 66 per cent for school librarians, the study established that the majority of the schools had school libraries but these were as a result of individual schools' efforts and not a nationwide government policy. Moreover, the school libraries lacked policies; had not embraced contemporary trends in technology; and lacked financial support. The study concluded that school libraries in Nairobi County were inadequately resourced and supported and recommended that the government of Kenya should develop national policies to entrench and support school libraries in the education system.