Learning Together: Intergenerational Literature Circles as Sites for Multi-Layered Learning
Our research investigates the notion of communities of learning in the context of intergenerational literature circles. Specifically, we are exploring the effectiveness of intergenerational literature circles as (1) an integrated approach to social studies concept development, (2) a method to assist preservice teachers in becoming more deeply aware of themselves as readers/learners and as future teachers of young readers/learners, and (3) a mechanism for empowering school-age students as they assume an equal role with adult co-learners in exploring reading processes, discussing alternate perspectives, and developing understanding of social studies concepts. To determine the effectiveness of the approach, we arranged classroom visits that required preservice teachers to participate as co-learners with grade school students in literature circles that explored social studies concepts using a fiction resource. At this stage in the investigation, we have gathered data from the adult co-learners using questionnaires and the reflective portfolios created by these preservice teachers. During our presentation we will share our findings, which indicate that intergenerational literature circles have been effective as the approach has assisted preservice teachers in developing their understanding of the multiple levels of responding to text experienced by children as well as deepening their appreciation of alternate approaches to social studies concept development.
Keywords: Pedagogy, Language arts, Social studies, Oracy, Literacy, Teacher education
Dr. Lynn Lemisko
Assistant Professor, Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Ms. Margaret Epp
Teacher, Valley Manor School in Martensville, Saskatchewan Valley School Division