Young Adult Literature

Good Essays
“Reading Pop Culture and Young Adult Literature Through the Youth Lens” from the January 2015 edition of The English Journal discusses a professor’s implementation of a curriculum for teacher candidates that encourages future teachers to identify and consider the portrayal of societal constructions of adolescence in various texts. Through biological, psychology and pop-culture perspectives, teacher-candidates learn to question the dominant narratives of adolescence and see future students on an individual level. The article also periodically offers suggestions about implementing a similar curriculum in a secondary classroom.
By applying a youth lens to pop-culture texts, the teacher-candidates begin to see some of the harmful ways that adolescents
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Using a youth lens helped bring out complexities in texts that would otherwise have been unnoticed, such as differing cultural, racial, socioeconomic, gendered, etc. definitions of adolescence. This further disrupted the single narrative of adolescence, further individualizing students. Response to literature using a youth lens also led to discussions of authorial intent and the power that adult authors have to project their own conceptualizations of youth on to characters in the books that young adults are reading, therefore furthering generalizable, non-individual ideas about …show more content…
In addition to the echoes from these classes, this article encourages deep reflection about how stereotypes of youth impact teaching. A greater awareness of these stereotypes can help students and teachers alike see past them, criticize them, and use them to their advantage. Teachers and students must also consider how adults promote single images of adolescence through authoring young adult literature that seems to be from a youth perspective, but really allows the author to project their ideas about adolescence on to young characters. If stereotypes are so imperceptibly ingrained in pop culture and young adult literature, they will be impossible to fight. Naming dominant narratives about youth and identifying their sources is the first step towards dismantling a monolithic image of adolescence that can erase many students’

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