Low-stakes reflections on learning as a tool for teaching theory through children’s books


This study investigates the role of­ low-stakes reflections on learning in teaching literary theory through children’s books. Through an inductive thematic analysis of empirical data collected in a college course in literary analysis, five themes were identified in such reflections: 1. appreciating the use of children’s books; 2. recognizing the differences between adult and child perspectives; 3. successes and 4. difficulties with learning literary theory; and 5. the need for more examples of applying theoretical lenses to texts. Low-stakes reflections on learning were shown to be effective in teaching literary theory, with students expressing their appreciation for using children’s books and feeling comfortable applying theoretical lenses to them. The study concludes that teaching literary theory through children’s books makes difficult theoretical concepts more accessible and enjoyable for students. Low-stakes reflections on learning encourage students to self-evaluate their personal efforts; thus, they can help teachers gauge the students’ level of comprehension and the efficacy of scaffolding high-stakes assignments, also providing opportunities to better intervene in student learning. The study suggests that this approach is not limited to English majors, can be combined with visual analysis, and is urgent given the current censorship of children’s books in the U.S.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.