Literature Matters is a national initial teacher training (ITT) initiative to enthuse trainee teachers about children’s literature and libraries. MLA North West is co-ordinating Literature Matters in the region, as part of our work to ensure that all children, young people and families are able to participate in high quality and enjoyable cultural experiences.
Literature Matters has resulted in a portfolio of models for literature and libraries to add value to ITT, and new and sustainable relationships are being established between ITT providers and library services. Professional library staff have been working with ITT tutors and trainees to provide lectures and workshops, visits and placements tailored to the needs of primary and secondary trainee teachers, and final activity will take place at the beginning of the autumn term 2006.
“B.E.S.T. - Behind every successful teacher…there are great library services to help get your pupils reading!”
The “B.E.S.T.” guide has been produced for trainee and newly qualified teachers, to support their use of literature and libraries in their teaching, and ultimately to boost enjoyment of reading in schools.
Following extensive mapping of the library services available to trainee teachers in the North West, the free booklet highlights the range of children’s book awards, specialist resources and expert advice which libraries can offer to support teaching, with contact details for services across the region. Crucially, “B.E.S.T.” provides trainees with practical strategies to foster a love of reading in the pupils they teach, including a step-by-step guide to setting up reading groups, and a calendar of literature events to take part in.
Groups of primary and secondary trainees were consulted on the design and layout of the “B.E.S.T.” booklet, which features Literature Matters activity such as pupil reading groups and trainee teacher placements in libraries. Copies of the booklet are being distributed to teacher training institutions, School Library Services and public libraries.
A supplementary electronic resource has also been developed to point trainee teachers to a host of useful websites, such as the Summer Reading Challenge and book review sites: www.literaturematters.org.uk
Evaluation and research
Literature Matters is being evaluated nationally using the Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs), the impact measurement tool developed as part of the Inspiring Learning For All framework: http://www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk/
In addition, MLA North West is funding longitudinal research into the impact of Literature Matters in the region, with interim results available in September 2006, and a final report due in September 2007.
Results from the national and regional research and evaluation will be made available on the MLA North West website.
Taking Literature Matters forward
In June 2006, staff from MLA North West, the North West Museums Hub, Arts Council England and Creative Partnerships met to discuss work with ITT providers, share best practice, and explore future working. A further meeting will be held in the autumn of 2006.
A celebration of Literature Matters, with dissemination of the project’s outcomes, will take place on Thursday 7th December 2006. Aimed at ITT providers, the event will also look at the broader cultural offer for teacher training from museums and archives, as well as libraries, and will link to the “Learning Links” element of the Strategic Commissioning programme. Further information will be sent out in due course.