Using Young Adult Literature to Explore the Causes and Impact of Teen Violence

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2009-01-01
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Hathaway, Jill
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Donna Niday
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

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The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract

This project addresses the use of young adult literature in the classroom to teach about teen violence. The research questions addressed are:

1. How is violence depicted in young adult literature from post-Columbine (1999) to present day (2009)?

2. How does young adult literature attempt to inform teens about the causes, effects, and warning signs of violence?

3. How do real students respond to the causes, effects, and warning signs of teen violence in young adult literature?

The study was conducted in a class of 10th grade Honors English students, who formed six literature circles to read six recent young adult books that addressed teen violence. A variety of qualitative data was collected, including interviews, journal entries, essays, and group presentations. The two major findings were that students could identify causes, warning signs, and effects of teen violence in their books, and they said they now recognize the hazards of bullying.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009