Publication Date



Developing knowledge and understandings related to children’s literature among preservice elementary teachers is a vital component of teacher preparation that should be addressed in a required course. The purpose of the present study was to identify essential learning outcomes addressed in children’s literature courses that were required coursework among elementary teacher preparation programs located in a Southern state. The goal was to discover “the story” in children’s literature coursework and determine to what extent current teacher preparation practices aligned with professional recommendations from recognized experts in the field. The present study employed a qualitative, directed content analysis approach that used purposeful sampling methods. Content analysis techniques identified codes and establish themes that resulted in the identification of 306 distinct essential learning outcomes, which were categorized into nine themes. A discussion of findings was presented, and four implications for teacher educators and teacher preparation program stakeholders were described. Limitations of the present study were also noted, along with recommendations for future studies.