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EDU 31ACL – Australian Children’s Literature Australian Family Stories. Family stories – issues for consideration. © La Trobe University, David Beagley, 2006. Considering Family S tories. What elements of family stories do they have? e.g. IN families, ABOUT families, or FOR families

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edu 31acl australian children s literature australian family stories

EDU 31ACL – Australian Children’s LiteratureAustralian Family Stories

Family stories – issues for consideration

© La Trobe University, David Beagley, 2006

considering family s tories
Considering Family Stories
  • What elements of family stories do they have?e.g. IN families, ABOUTfamilies, or FOR families
  • Are they ‘typical’ of traditional family stories?
  • Are they ‘typical’ of traditional family structures?
  • Do they assume ‘typical’ family stories or structures?
considering family s tories3
Considering Family Stories
  • How do they meet or challenge aspects of your criteria for family stories?
    • e.g. characters, settings, plot development, themes, voice, style
    • e.g. structure, relationships, responsibilities
  • How do they meet or challenge aspects of your criteria for families?
  • 2 aspects : Group + Responsibility
sociological issues
Sociological issues
  • Representations of Family, and commentary on possibilities
  • Who is included in / excluded by the text ?
  • Representation of characters from a diversity of backgrounds:
    • gender
    • cultural / ethnic
    • socioeconomic
    • Family structure
sociological issues5
Sociological issues
  • Identity – who am I, in relation to others?
  • Differentiation – what makes me different, how do I belong?
how are the families represented in each book
How are the families represented in each book?
  • The Bamboo Flute – child’s view of family trying to cope, realising and rescuing what matters
  • Tiff and the Trout - child’s view of family structure dissolving, making choices
  • No gun for Asmir – family under external stress, the bonds that tie
  • Hitler’s daughter – the child of the parent, the sins of the father
  • Dougy - Aboriginal culture of family vs European concept of family; friends or relatives; family or society?
  • NIPS XI – social and cultural families, similarities and differences
how are the families represented in each book7
How are the families represented in each book?
  • Do these texts assume an essential nature of family?
  • Or do they question the social construct?
readership texts for older younger readers
Readership Texts for older/younger readers

What are some of the textual features of texts for older readers?

  • More mature story structures and features

e.g. flashback, echoing/multiple storylines, allusions, context, variant voices, sophisticated perspectives

  • Wider range of themes

analytical, judgemental, referential, “grey areas” – abstraction required of reader

  • Different character ranges and reactions

often more driven by identifiable personality than narrative necessity

readership texts for older younger readers9
ReadershipTexts for older/younger readers

Expectation of Readership

  • variety of life experiences (cultural awareness/ difference)
  • awareness of equity issues
  • knowledge of other media
  • developing critical literacy skills
  • language
criteria for assessing australian family stories
Criteria for assessing Australian Family Stories
  • Does the book claim to offer an account of a typical or unique Australian family?
  • Is this claim convincing?
  • To what extent are stereotypes of class, culture, gender and sibling roles presented or resisted?
  • Will these help or hinder reader identification with characters?
criteria for assessing australian family stories11
Criteria for assessing Australian Family Stories
  • Are the events and characters depicted likely to appeal to children?
  • Will this book reward young readers by offering worthwhile insights into ordinary experience related to family life?
  • Does the book tend to offer overt or over-simplistic moral lessons about family responsibilities, duties, rights and desirable roles?
criteria for assessing australian family stories12
Criteria for assessing Australian Family Stories
  • Is there a plot resolution and is it convincing in terms of ordinary experience? How does the author deal with the challenging problem of resolving or 'rounding off' reality in the final chapters?
  • Does the book offer anything new to this sub-genre in terms of theme, plot or characterisation?
  • Is the book likely to become dated in its version of the contemporaryfamily and issues confronting children within it?