Before beginning ESH151 Children’s Literature Studies, I was a little nervous. I am doing this unit as an elective in my final semester of my Arts degree, and I had never done a unit from outside the faculty of Arts before. This unit’s content and assessment sounded completely different to anything I had done so far in my degree, which was quite daunting. Now, six weeks in to the semester, I feel like I have settled into the unit reasonably well. This blog post has been a great opportunity for me to reflect on what I have learnt so far, and how I can improve my learning experience.
On reflecting on the books I have used so far in this unit, I have realised that I have stayed well within my comfort zone. Almost all of the books I have discussed in my blog posts have been ones that I am familiar with, or at least books in which I am familiar with the author. While this has felt like a good way to ‘ease’ into the subject, I think it has also restricted my experience in this unit so far. I know I would benefit from exploring a wider range of books and authors. I am looking forward to the upcoming modules in this unit, as looking at the reading list, there seems to be a large number of books I can choose from which I am not familiar with. I will make a conscious effort to stop restricting myself, and explore the vast array of quality children’s literature available.
Something that I must start doing in relation to this unit is be more active on the discussion boards. At the start of the semester, I made sure that I contributed to the discussion boards, however, the past few weeks, I have focussed on my blog. On reflection, I have realised that this is really a missed opportunity. Discussing concepts prior to posting my blog could have been extremely valuable – getting feedback from other students and teaching staff could have helped my understanding and thus improved my blog posts. To get the most out of this unit, I need to start dedicating time to contributing to the discussion boards.
Something I will keep doing in relation to this unit – and others – is think carefully about my word choice. In the past, I have been frustrated with myself for focussing on the wording of assignment pieces. At times, I know I have felt like I am wasting time by trying to perfect the wording of each sentence. However, this unit has made me realise the importance of word choice. Language is such a powerful device, and the words I choose to use in assessment pieces can have many different effects. Although it might take a little extra time, I plan to keep focussing on my word choice and sentence structure.