Beliefs about Children’s Literature and Literacy
by Samanth Beutler

  1. Children’s literature is the expression of language, feelings, or emotions conveyed through words or artifacts with messages geared towards children.
  2. Literature evokes strong feelings on behalf of the sender and receiver, allowing people of all ages to imagine, create, and experience things that may otherwise have been unattainable or unimaginable.
  3. Literature comes in a variety of formats including (but not limited to) print, electronic, artistic artifacts, spoken words, music, dramatic productions, presentations, and other multimedia.
  4. Children’s literature is essential for the development of a citizenry that is well-read, well-informed, skilled, and knowledgeable.
  5. Quality children’s literature is a necessary agent in promoting a love of reading and fostering an attitude towards lifetime learning.
  6. Children’s literature has undergone significant changes and will continue to evolve with new technologies and educational demands.
  7. As literature evolves, educators must embrace change and make adaptations in existing curriculums, instructional techniques, and educational philosophies.
  8. Educators must strive to integrate quality literature into all areas of the school’s curriculum, valuing student’s unique backgrounds and experiences, thus enabling students to connect with literature in meaningful ways.
  9. Research related to children’s literature is necessary to keep teachers informed of new trends in literature, literacy, and education.
  10. Instructional techniques to achieve success must include: a variety of modes of communication, integration with all aspects of the students' lives and learning, representations from a variety of genre, and local and global cultures.
  11. Students must learn to appreciate diverse forms of literature and must have experiences with different genres.
  12. Students must have experiences with multicultural literature to promote understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of diverse cultures.
  13. Students must learn to critically evaluate literature and other forms of media to understand and evaluate the implicit messages being generated by the message creator.
  14. It is important for students to understand the human side of artists, authors, composers, poets, producers, actors, actresses, musicians, playwrights, and illustrators of children's literature.  
  15. There are many print, electronic, and human sources available to help locate, review, and select quality children’s literature.
  16. Literature should be presented and studied in a manner that allows students to have positive intellectual and emotional responses to the work in order to develop self-efficacy and literature appreciation.
  17. Assessment helps us understand how students interpret, connect, use, and enjoy literature.
  18. Literacy is the ability to make sense of information verbally and nonverbally by interpreting messages and conveying meaning to those messages, whether those messages are written, spoken, sung, illustrated, or presented in any other medium.
  19. Literacy is more than just understanding and having skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening—it includes the abilities to relate to literature by imaging, creating, visualizing, and responding to literary messages.
  20. Literary messages are interpreted individually based upon the unique experiences of the receiver.


Piazza, C. L. (1999). Multiple forms of literacy: Teaching literacy and the arts. Columbus, OH: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Sweetland, R. (2005). Belief statements or assumptions for literature. Retrieved June 14, 2005, from