I have finally managed to explore most of the library and have pulled out about fifty sf-looking books. I’ve excluded everything I know was originally written for adult sf and fantasy magazines (although I will be looking at them later) and everything I know I can get in the UK. There’s enough here to keep me busy, but not enough to cause panic (I only have another five weeks) and UNBalso has a very large stock of children’s information books, and texts on “teaching science” and “teaching science through literature”, so next week I’m going to start looking at those. I have no idea if they will be relevant, or offer any insights, but if I don’t look, I’ll never know.
I have a literature gap to fill. What I found when I was writing the original article was that there is a very great deal of cognitive development theory and experiment for babies, for small children and for teens, but that the years 9-13 were pretty much absent. Once children learned to read, they seemed to pass from view. I know that this is changing. There is new research coming out on the “pre-teens” which I’ll be following carefully, but it’s ironic that the gap in the research more or less matches the target audience for the information books. I won’t be able to use these books to work out how children read and learn, but I may be able to use them to think about what the adult expectations are.