Children’s Literature in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom - London & Edinburgh

On Campus: CD Mod; March 2-May 5, 2022, Day & Time TBD
Off Campus: May 18 - May 31, 2022 

Edinburgh Panorama Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Program Highlights

  • Visit museums and castles across England and Scotland
  • Travel to Great Missenden, home of Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl, and learn about his life as a writer
  • Visit Oxford and learn about the writers and inspiration for children's stories such as Alice in Wonderland, His Dark Materials, Lord of the Rings, and many others
  • Hike Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood in the Winnie the Pooh books
  • Meet contemporary authors, illustrators, publishers in the United Kingdom and learn about their work
  • Visit schools and libraries in the U.K. and learn how teachers and librarians support literacy learning
  • Travel to Moat Brae in Scotland “Birthplace of Peter Pan” and visit the newly opened National Centre for Children’s Literature and Story-Telling
  • Visit the Seven Stories Centre children’s literature museum and archive in Newcastle, England
  • Fulfills education major requirement and Humanities (HM) requirement

Explore complete United Kingdom - London & Edinburgh Embedded Program details on CSB/SJU Global Portal.

Pooh Sticks Winnie the Pooh Christopher Robin bridge by Poohland | Winnie  the pooh quotes, Pooh quotes, Winnie the pooh

Illustration by E. H. Shepard

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Embedded Children’s Literature in the United Kingdom

Course Number:  EDUC 214

Credit Number:  4 credits

Common Curriculum designation: Humanities (HM)

Integrations Curriculum designation: Way of Thinking - Human Experience (HE)

Major or Minor Requirements:  This course may be substituted for EDUC 215-Literature for Children and Adolescents K-8, a required course for elementary education majors and will  meet several of the Minnesota Elementary Education Standards for Teacher Preparation

Course Description

Some of the most captivating, imaginative and magical stories written for children come from the United Kingdom.  During the travel portion of this embedded study abroad program we will spend time in vibrant and historic metropolises like London and Edinburgh, as well as picturesque and peaceful rural destinations, such as Ashdown Forest.  Our itinerary will take us through the enchanted cities and countryside of England and Scotland to numerous children’s literature destinations.  We will explore social, political, and cultural forces that shape children’s writing and publishing in the United Kingdom, study the fantasy genre, and discuss the value of magical stories for child development.  Most importantly, we will read and discuss many wonderful examples of fantasy literature written for children! 

Course Information and Learning

This embedded course will be taught during CD mod on campus, followed by two weeks of travel to United Kingdom, London and Edinburgh. 

Throughout this course students will learn:

  1. Tools for analyzing literary and artistic criteria of literature for children
  2. Specific qualities associated with the major genres of children’s literature
  3. Processes for analyzing literary elements and their interaction in particular works
  4. Considerations for dealing with books that spark debate (censorship) in some communities
  5. Tools to develop respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects
  6. Models for asking questions that promote thoughtful and supported responses to literature
  7. Sensitivity to the importance of choice and a safe climate in the development of literate behavior
  8. Ways to structure classroom learning environment and pedagogical practices that support reading
  9. Formats for conducting discussions of literature that are collaborative meaning-making experiences
  10. How the unique cultural heritage of the United Kingdom informs the stories produced for children, including history and geographic setting
  11. Analysis of the various social, political, and cultural forces that impact the writing, publishing, and reading of children’s literature, and comparison of variations between the United States and the United Kingdom
  12. How storytelling, literature, and various genres foster early literacy skills, child development, problem-solving, and imagination
  13. How literature written for children can be used to explore social issues such as systems of privilege and oppression, and how this can prepare young people for participating in a global community

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

Students on an embedded program will pay an education program fee in addition to the cost of attendance for the semester. Find Program Fee information will be available in September 2021, but you can find more information about costs on theCSB/SJU Global Portal.  

Students should plan early for a successful study abroad experience. Financial aid and scholarships may be available to help with program costs, but must be searched out well in advance.   


During our 10-day stay in London we will be living in Arcadia University student residence in shared rooms. These accommodations include shared kitchen facilities, common living spaces, linens and towels, and pay-as-you-go laundry.  Take a video tour.  In Edinburgh we will be staying in a hotel or the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Hall.  Breakfast will be included in our Edinburgh accommodations.   

Program Director Information

Madeleine Israelson, PhD, is a former elementary school teacher and is now an assistant professor in the Education Department. She believes that good literature, especially magical stories, can help us understand ourselves, each other, and our world in deeply meaningful ways. A good book, especially one written for kids, can inspire readers to change the world! Madeleine led this as a Summer program in 2018 and is excited to do the program again under the Embedded model. Contact: Madeleine Israelson