Using classic fiction to support the study of childhood in Victorian times

Primary History article

By Ann Cowling, published 6th December 2010

Please note: This article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and references may be outdated.

Classic fiction provides useful sources of information for investigating the lives, beliefs and values of people in the past. In this article Ann Cowling describes activities undertaken with student teachers which may also serve as models for classroom work with children.

In the second year of the Primary Initial Teacher Education course at the University of the West of England student teachers can choose to study an English subject specialist module entitled Narratives of Childhood. As part of this module students are encouraged to engage with the novels of Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte and are introduced to a variety of non-fiction web-based resources on the Victorian period. The intention is to enable students to explore an area of literature which they may not be familiar with and to experience a range of possible activities which they may wish to incorporate into their future teaching in primary schools...

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