INFO 267-10
Seminar in Services to Children and Young Adults: Indigenous Literature for Children and Youth
Summer 2018 Syllabus

Rowena Koh
Office location: Virtual
Office hours: By appointment

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*Syllabus is subject to change with fair notice.

Course Description

This one-credit course provides students with an opportunity to survey North American Indigenous materials suitable for children and youth from early childhood through high school. Students will begin to develop knowledge and appreciation of traditional and contemporary storytelling and literature by Indigenous storytellers, authors, illustrators, artists and publishers in Canada and the United States. By making connections to the broader contexts of decolonization and self-determination for Indigenous peoples, the course will also support students in developing the critical skills and cultural competency to effectively promote and share Indigenous literature for children and youth. INFO 281 Seminar in Contemporary Issues: Topics in Indigenous Librarianship is a highly recommended (though not required) prerequisite for this course.

Course Requirements


1.  Review and evaluate two assigned children’s titles using provided evaluation criteria [Supports CLO 1, 2 & 4 and Core Competency C]

2.  During the course, students are expected to read extensively in literature created by Indigenous authors, illustrators, and artists, keeping a reflective reading journal, which will guide online discussions. The journal should include entries on at least 12 titles of various formats, topics and age groups. Each entry should be about a page long and focus on content, theme, and reviews or commentary from Indigenous perspectives. [Supports CLO 1, 3 & 4 and Core Competency C & I]

3.  Submit a book review with accompanying book talk or story time presentation on one or more books written and/or illustrated by Indigenous creators (3-5 minutes). Presentations will be recorded and posted on the discussion board, and peer evaluated. [Supports CLO 13 & 5 and Core Competency I]

4.  Write a final paper (around 2500 words) on a selected issue, theme, trend or emerging practice in Indigenous literature. Topics may range from a discussion of illustrative style, recent trends in publishing, specific genres or styles, historical analysis of children’s publishing or publishers, an author study, challenges and issues in selecting and evaluating Indigenous children’s literature, language and literacy issues among indigenous children, culture and language revitalization projects, issues in access and availability, storytelling and oral traditions, recent initiatives and innovations. [Supports CLO 1-5 and Core Competencies C & I]

Course Calendar





0 – June 14

·       Introduction to the course, instructor, and students


·       June 17 – Post self-introductions and respond to at least two other posts

1 – June 16

·       Cultural and historical context

·       Representations of Indigenous people in children's literature

·       Case studies in cultural appropriation

Book Evaluations / Discussion

·       June 22 – Write book evaluations and post on discussion board

·       June 23 – Read and respond to at least two other posts

2 – June 23

·       Survey of resources and websites for selection and evaluation

·       Survey of publishers, distributors, literary awards, and programs


·       June 29 – Post at least four entries from reading journal

·       June 30 – Read and respond to at least two other reading journal entries

3 – June 30

·       Importance of stories and storytelling

·       Cultural protocols

·       Teaching and learning through story

Book Review with Talk or Storytime

·       July 6 – Submit book review to instructor and present book talk or story time

·       July 7 – Peer review evaluations of book talk/story time

4 – July 7

·       Case studies in Indigenous self-publishing, cultural and language revitalization, new media

Reading Journal / Discussion

·       July 10 – Submit final reading journal to instructor and post at least two entries

·       July 12 – Respond to at least two other journal entries

Final paper

·       July 15 – Last day to submit final paper to instructor


Due to the very short timeline of the course and the high number of enrollments, late submissions will be penalized heavily. There will be a deduction of 15% per day for assignments turned in after the due date, including mandatory discussion posts. 



Possible points

Book evaluations


Reading journal


Book review with book talk or story time presentation


Final paper






Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200, and INFO 260A or INFO 261A

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and utilize professional websites and resources to source and evaluate children's reading materials from an Indigenous perspective.
  2. Understand the context of Indigenous cultural, historical and literary criticism and its connection to providing culturally appropriate information services to children and youth.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of Indigenous children's literature created by Indigenous authors, illustrators, artists and publishers in Canada and the United States.
  4. Identify and analyze instances of cultural appropriation and/or commodification in children's literature.
  5. Understand respectful approaches to using Indigenous stories in the context of learning and development, including in libraries and classrooms.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 267 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA or Informatics) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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