“If We Don’t Include Literature, Where Do We Teach Our Students From?” An Effort to Introduce Children’s Literature to Indonesian Preservice Teachers


Indonesia’s new literacy initiative called Gerakan Literasi Sekolah (GLS) focuses on developing literacy-rich school environments through a sequence of book engagements. As the locus of control in daily literacy activities (Lehman, 2007), teachers in Indonesia assume much of the responsibility for student literacy learning. Despite this, Indonesian teachers receive minimal preparation in facilitating literacy instruction using literature; for example, courses that introduce student teachers to children’s literature are not commonly offered in Indonesian teacher education. This study aims to fill in the dearth of data regarding the efforts to introduce Indonesian preservice teachers to literature for children and the pedagogy of literature in an introductory children’s literature class. One semester’s data shows the promising development of preservice teachers’ perceptions of reading literature and literature’s role in teaching; teachers reflect upon being a reader, cultivate an understanding of literature, and envision teaching with literature. Findings also reveal what is yet missing from the GLS literacy initiative, most notably the need for literacy teachers who are knowledgeable about literature and who are able to teach with literature

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