Starting this fall, UMass Boston’s psychology department is introducing a new course, and it is really going to spice up your schedule. They are introducing a class about the psychological effects of children's books! It will be held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4 p.m. The professor, Professor Macord, wanted to create this course after spending time with her 2-year-old grandson. I was even able to sit down and have an interview with her about why she wanted to host the class. It is not often that UMass Boston introduces a new course as unusual as this, so when it does happen, it is big news!
When I asked her why she wanted to start this class, she said, “I was spending time with my grandson, and we were reading his favorite book, Thomas the Train. All of a sudden it hits me—what about this book does he like so much and why? Was it the colors, the characters, the fact that he has seen them on the TV? I just wanted to know why out of all of his books that he had chosen that one. Soon, I found myself on the internet trying to find information on kids and how books have affected them. I found some very interesting studies about how reading children books affects a child into adulthood. Not just the fact that they like the book, but that the process of reading helps them later on in life. I became fascinated with it, and before I knew it I had enough information to teach a class on it. I am very proud of the course I have made! Honestly, I cannot wait to teach students about the wonderful world of children's books! I wish I could take all of the credit for the creation of this class but, in a way, my grandson was the inspiration for all of this, and if anyone deserves credit it is him!”
The first part of the class is going to focus on kids, and how reading as a child helps them at that stage in their life. There have been studies that connect the process of reading a book with a child and having their speech develop faster. I mean, the worst thing in the world is to have a one year old who cannot speak a full paragraph. The most exciting assignment that Professor Macord told me about was where she would have each student in her class pick out a children's book and write a paper on it. The assignment will focus on analyzing the children’s books and writing a paper about what the book is teaching the child and how it will help them with their development.
The second part of the class will be about the benefits of reading as a child and how they help someone in their adult life. Studies have shown that kids who read for at least thirty minutes each day make on average $15 more than their counterparts as an adult. During this part of the class you will be given a study to read about childhood development and reading, and then write a paper about what the researchers used in their study. Once you have analyzed the research you will then develop your own research method to find out how reading as a child affects someone in their adult life.
Overall, I would say this course is going to be really interesting. If you enjoy psychology or helping kids, then I’m sure this is the class for you.