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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Crosscurrents of Children's Literature: An Anthology of Texts and Criticism

by J. D. Stahl , Tina Hanlon , Elizabeth Lennox Keyser
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 18, 2011 by Teacher Education
Overview: This literary reference is a companion site for the following text: Stahl, J.D., Hanlon, T.L., & Keyser, E. L. (2006). Crosscurrents of children’s literature: An anthology of texts and criticism. The anthology is divided into eight parts, each of which addresses a central issue in children's literature studies. The text is designed for undergraduate and graduate courses in children's literature, and can be used in a variety of ways. The website contains sample syllabi and links to related material on authors, illustrators and works in the anthology.
Learning Goals: There are eight different suggested syllabi, all with different goals. These include history of children's literature, history of young adult literature, the American experience in children's literature, gender in young adult literature, genres in children's literature, censorship and awards, book to film, and issues in children's literature.
Target Student Population: - Undergraduate - Graduate
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: - None if using a more basic syllabus - Some background on basic children's literature might be needed if considering the literature in context.
Type of Material: Reference
Recommended Uses: - General introduction to children's literature - Examination of various aspects of children's literature - Critical analysis of children's literature within social context - Course development, lesson development
Technical Requirements: Updated browser

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: There is a conscious effort to provide resources for a Children’s Literature or Reading Literacy instructor/student, sufficient amount of links covering a variety of topics Sample syllabi cover a wide range of concepts,learning levels, suggested assignments that show variety and attention to the particular topic of each syllabi. This is a reference tool for instructors more so than a resource for students so pre-requisite knowledge is assumed.
Concerns: The site is based of the textbook, so you are restricted to the topics endorsed by the publisher.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This site is aligned with the course textbook, and would serve as an adequate supplementary resource for students. Sample syllabi provided for each chapter. As a reference material, this site is meant to provide information, not teach. The site is meant for instructors to use, not students (although instructors could direct students to the links provided. The sample syllabi and very large list of various types of websites allow instructors to pick and choose those elements most appropriate for their class and students.
Concerns: May not be a relevant repository for instructors and students not using the textbook, no advanced multimedia resources included on the site beyond text pages.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: Sections were well-organized to present content clear manner; intuitive in the navigation of the site. The simple home page provides links to syllabi and web links under different topics. For all but two of the syllabi, you could backtrack to the Crosscurrents site after viewing.
Concerns: The site is primarily a database of children’s literature links. Beyond clicking on the links, there is very little guidance on how one would use the site beyond a repository (although it states the page can be used in various ways). Thirty-five links were broken (3 additional links went to a French site). It was not possible to tell if this site was correct or not, though no authors' names could be seen. Two additional links went to sites for newsletters that had only the newest edition and not the interviews that were to be linked. One additional site was in Swedish.

Other Issues and Comments: Broken links make this site less useful than it could be.