Learning Together: Intergenerational Literature Circles as Sites for Multi-Layered Learning

Dr. Lynn Lemisko,
Ms. Margaret Epp
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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
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Learning Together

Dr. Lynn Lemisko

Assistant Professor, Curriculum Studies, University of Saskatchewan

Lynn Lemisko is an assistant professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She teaches social studies methods at the undergraduate level and is interested in developing learning experiences for preservice teachers that assist them in developing a deeper understanding of subject matter integration, alternate perspectives, diversity, concept development, and ways of thinking of young learners.

Ms. Margaret Epp

Teacher, Valley Manor School in Martensville, Saskatchewan Valley School Division

Margaret Epp is a middle years teacher at Valley Manor School in Martensville, Saskatchewan. She has 18 years of experience teaching Kindergarten through grade 6 and undergraduate classes in the area of English Language Arts and is presently teaching in a grade 6 classroom. She is interested in understanding how young learners explore and think about concepts in all subject areas through discussion groups, and in furthering such experiences by involving preservice teachers in the process.

Ref: L05P0606