ATS2519 - Children's literature: A comparative study - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Literary Studies

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Michelle Smith


Dr Michelle Smith

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.




The unit introduces students to major developments in children's literature from the Victorian "Golden Age" to contemporary dystopian fiction. It examines canonical works by British, American, and Australian authors in a range of genres and forms, including the picture book. Specific issues examined include changing notions of childhood and the child figure, and the concept of the implied child/adolescent reader. Students will consider the ideological implications of the adult interests vested in the production of children's literature, and how the genre works to socialise children into dominant views about gender, race and class.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. explain the historic context of the development of the main genres of children's literature, and of contemporary trends and issues;
  2. discuss the ways in which different cultures construct different ideas of childhood, and of implied child readers;
  3. critically analyse the ways in which adult and child readers learn to construct cultural paradigms, particularly relating to gender and race, through their reading;
  4. apply skills pertaining to narratology, deconstruction and discourse analysis;
  5. recognise and analyse the ideological significance of childhood reading;
  6. explore the cultural contexts surrounding the production and reception of children's literature.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study