Deakin University

Adopting Ocean-Themed Picture Books to Promote Ocean Literacy in Primary Education

journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-06, 03:50 authored by Cátia Freitas, Prue FrancisPrue Francis, Alecia BellgroveAlecia Bellgrove, Paul VenzoPaul Venzo
AbstractChildren’s literature about the ocean is a valuable learning tool for increasing ocean literacy in formal education. This instruction is, nonetheless, reliant on teachers’ capacity to explore, appreciate and understand the different ways in which elements of picture books convey ocean concepts. As researchers who work collaboratively in marine science education and children’s literature, we analysed a targeted sample of picture books about a largely unknown temperate reef system on the southern coastline of Australia, the Great Southern Reef. Our exploration of these picture books' verbal and visual strategies showed how they can be used as model examples of scientifically accurate educational resources to deliver ocean concepts, increase awareness of a local marine environment, and promote positive attitudes towards science. The portrayal of scientists, particularly female scientists in these texts can also expand children’s perceptions and beliefs about who scientists are and how they work, and ultimately impact young people’s career choices. We argue that the analysis modelled in this article can be adapted to different selections of ocean-themed picture books. Therefore, we provide recommendations for educators in other regions of the world choosing picture books to improve ocean education in the context of other local marine environments.



Children's Literature in Education










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