Picturebooks as vehicles in professional development for intercultural citizenship education

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The context for this paper is a university-based course that was part of an Erasmus+ project (https://icepell.eu/). Its main aim was to strengthen the profile of the teaching profession through the development of practitioner knowledge, attitudes and competences to confidently use picturebooks to integrate intercultural citizenship education (ICit) in early English language learning (children from 5 to 12 years old) (ELL).

Picturebooks have been considered an authentic resource in ELL since the 1980s. However, in the last decade, there has been a clear move towards acknowledging the picturebook as a multimodal, multilayered, unique art form; to considering language learners’ response to picturebooks; and finally, to recognizing its affordances for an education around values and respect for the Other (Mourão, 2017). In ELL teacher education, to align with this perspective, Narančić Kovač (2016) recommends that provision should be made for i) picturebooks to be experienced, ii) exposure to picturebook theories and iii) picturebooks to be used in practice. This paper presents our response to the question of how to design a short 25-hour course to develop the desired practitioner knowledge, attitudes and competences, with a focus on ICit, following Narančić Kovač’s recommendations. I will give a brief outline of the course, developed around the seven features of effective professional development (Darling Hammond, et al. 2017), the picturebook-as-vehicle tasks and the teacher competencies we targeted. To support my claims that we were successful in our endeavour to reach the project’s aim, I will be sharing data from the Portuguese teacher participants (n=14), analyzed from a mixed-methods perspective. This data includes teacher-made artefacts, teacher reflections, pre- and post- course surveys and anecdotal evidence from classroom implementation. I will conclude with a personal reflection on picturebooks as vehicles for learning about and doing ICit, and possible improvements for future editions of the course.

Period17 Nov 202219 Nov 2022
Event titleFostering Dialogue: : Teaching Children’s Literature and Culture Conference
Event typeConference
Conference number2
LocationBergen, NorwayShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • intercultural citizenship education
  • picturebooks
  • professional development