Long time no see….

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I am back! sorry for the delay, I have been working on my dissertation for the past month and a half. At first I was quite excited that I would be writing a dissertation however, this soon changed as shown in my various emotional stages.

Stage one: Optimistic

The first section of the module I was wondering what to write about which consequently has completely changed to what it is now. I was ready to go and was excited for the journey ahead maybe a little naive about how hard it was going to be. Even though I had a rough idea of what I was going to do, it kept changing which didn’t help when it came to research.

Stage Two: Time

The research was a long section which I did not enjoy as all I wanted to do is write the essay even though I knew I need research to write it. The amount of articles, books and website pages I had printed off or looked at was ridiculous and I think only about 35% of the total research I have used. Due to the essay topic changing all the time I felt that I had wasted time researching into certain items and I was worried about not finding anything to write about. Tick Tock goes the clock….

Stage Three: Regaining Optimism

Once I had found my area of interest which I hadn’t noticed at first until my tutor told me, I was able to get stuck into something. Although I initially struggled not knowing where to start writing as the was just a wall of information blocking me. I decided to start on a random chapter within the essay which seemed to work.

Focusing on facts and educational information within children’s picture books made me realise that is the area of work I could go into. Creating a children’s picture book that is exciting as well as educating the child is a challenging concept which would be closely linked to my practical. I had chosen I think 6-7 books which were the most useful books I had ever had, they had all the information I needed to start writing the essay. So after making the boring looking books into colourful magical post-it noted books I was ready to start writing my essay…. finally I reached the end and I was hitting over 7000 which was great!

Stage Four: Tweaks

Tweaks are the most annoying things in the world! I was way over my word count but in my eyes all the chapters made sense. I gave myself just over a week to tweak my essay which I thought was enough but at the end of it I wanted it to end. I have lost count how many times I have read my essay over and over and over and ov…… I would just like to take a moment to thank my sister for driving over many times and helping me re-write the essay, also my mum for helping me go through the essay. Another thank you to my house mate for putting up with my moaning and complaining throughout the whole module.

 

Eventually I thought I had completed it until my laptop charger decided to die on me and had to replace it which didn’t help me or my wallet. I got my essay printed which was great! until I realised there had been an email sent showing the checklist of a dissertation which I couldn’t access when it was sent due to my laptop dying. A literature review was one item that I wasn’t too sure that I had done. I knew had taken a part out similar to a review, this meant I had to tweak my essay once again.

Stage Five: Completion

Right! I have completed the annoying tweaks and I have sent it off to the printers. Besides a little diy on the document I have completed it. Yay!

Stage Six: No Mans Land

I have also sent it digitally as I thought I am not going to change it as I have just printed it so I thought why not! Send it! However, this wasn’t as straight forward either being that the document limit is 20mb and my document is over 400mb. Even when I reduced the file size it was too big and so I sent it through as pdf but reduce the size.

I have printed and sent my dissertation now and it feels very weird. A minute ago I was stressed out and my whole life revolved around this dissertation and now… well… it’s gone. All finished.

So what have I learnt from completing the dissertation…

  1. The National Curriculum for schools should be changed. Even though it is continuously changing it’s not helping as there are so many rules coming in and out that schools have to follow. I think (which obviously is going to be bias) that more time should be allocated for children to read picture books and allow them to absorb the words as well as the illustrations. Illustrations aren’t just there to make things pretty, they are there to tell a story either with or without the text.
  2. Picture books as should be used and appreciated more in schools as they allow a child to learn a great deal whilst being entertained. Also teachers can gain a great amount by using these books such as creating their lesson plans around a book.
  3. Educational picture books may inspire a child to read more into a particular topic or theme. This may lead them onto a path that would be part of the rest of their life.
  4. Parents have more of an influence to a child than meets the eye. They are the voices of characters in a book, they create the atmosphere of the scene and they are the narrator which the child will listen to. From my research, parents tend to miss illustrations and tend to focus on the text whereas the child focuses predominantly on the picture, missing the text (due to the child not being able to read very well or at all). Working as a team (parents reading the text and the child pointing out things from the illustrations) can create a powerful bond between child and parent/adult which is special in its own right.
  5. Also the parent can draw upon their personal and experience to explain things to a child which they may not be able to do on their own.
  6. Within the dissertation I briefly looked at the e-book and according to research they are not as popular as once thought. The spike of their popularity is levelling out and physical books will not be replaced as once thought.
  7. There are probably a lot more but right now I can’t think of any and I don’t want to read through my dissertation again incase I find a mistake which I don’t have time to fix!

Now I can start the fun part (and a little bit of stress to throw in) creating my own picture book. I will be writing more blogs as this is more practical so I hope you enjoy the journey.

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