LITERATURE FOR INFANCY AND ADOLESCENCE (unit B)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course sets out to provide students with the knowledge and cultural bearings necessary to historically situate De Amicis’s most well-known work and to make it the subject of an objective pedagogical evaluation, untainted by the distorting lens of ideology. The comparison (in terms of language, content and messages conveyed) with the writing methods of some of the most representative contemporary authors aims – in addition to providing a more accurate knowledge of current children’s literature – to provide students with the ability to evaluate and select, as well as to hone their human, pedagogical, psychological and social sensibilities: attributes which come together in the mature professionalism of the teacher and librarian and which are in any case essential for anyone who is or will be entrusted with educational duties and responsibilities of any kind.
CHILDREN’S AND ADOLESCENT LITERATURE - MODULE A
Students must have taken the exam in Children’s and Adolescent Literature, Module A.
Course contents summary
The subject of the course will be a re-reading, in pedagogical, psychological and sociological terms, of Cuore by E. De Amicis. In parallel, the module will trace out the stages of criticism (pedagogical, psychological, sociological and literary) of the text over more than a century, and will go on to compare De Amicis’s writing with that of recent narrative for children. Its aesthetic, literary and educational merits and limitations will be identified, and the reasons for its obsolescence will be underlined, as well as its peculiar topicality in connection with the educational emergencies that permeate our nation.
Cuore, Edmondo De Amicis, in any unabridged edition.
A. Nobile, Cuore in 120 anni di critica deamicisiana, Aracne, Roma, currently being printed.
E. Catarsi, F. Bacchetti (edited by), I <<Tusitala>>. Scrittori italiani contemporanei di letteratura giovanile, Edizioni del Cerro, Pisa, 2006.
One of the following books of the student’s choice:
B. Pitzorno, Ascolta il mio cuore, Mondadori, Milano, 1991.
B. Pitzorno, L’incredibile storia di Lavinia, E. Elle, Trieste,1983.
D. Volpi, Anche i robot hanno un cuore, Salani, Firenze, 1993.
M. Cassini, Risate lunghe. Racconti umoristici, Campanotto, Udine, 2004.
R. Piumini, Il cuoco prigioniero, Nuove Edizioni Romane, Roma, 2003.
A. Nanetti, Cambio di stagione, E. Elle, Trieste, 1988.
A. Nanetti, Guardare l’ombra, E. Elle, Trieste, 1990.
The course will consist of classroom lectures and seminar-based moments during which passages, motifs and characters of Cuore will be discussed and appraised, subsequently moving on to a comparison with more recent children’s texts, from an ethical, content and values perspective as well as an aesthetic, literary and linguistic one, also incorporating the aspect of comprehension. During the visit to the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna students will survey and subsequently discuss developments in publishing for children and adolescents. Provision is made for students to conduct freely-conducted surveys among nursery, primary and lower secondary schoolchildren to ascertain their reading preferences.
The exam will take the form of an interview, the purpose of which is to assess students’ critical knowledge of Cuore as well as some of the most significant works of a number of contemporary children’s authors, and their pedagogical, psychological and aesthetic/literary capacity to critically evaluate past and present narrative for growing readers. This exam too will assess students’ argumentative rigour, expository ability and language appropriateness.