NBLCE Statement by Content Developer Alexandra Cogswell
I was born in New Brunswick, and I have lived here for much of my life. However, prior to immersing myself in this curriculum, I had little sense of the world class quality of literature in this province. I didn’t read New Brunswick literature for pleasure, and I didn’t teach it in the classroom. What a pity! And what an illustration that this curriculum is filling a significant need.
As I was developing teaching strategies for this curriculum, it struck me continually how ideal New Brunswick literature is for achieving the goals of the Atlantic Canada Framework for Essential Graduation Learnings (EGLs). For example, the EGL of Citizenship states that “graduates will be able to assess social, cultural, economic, and environmental interdependence in a local and global context.” These various forms of interdependence are pervasive themes throughout New Brunswick literature, and what better way is there to explore them than by considering the works of local authors within their geographical, generational, and political contexts? By reading New Brunswick literature next to national and international literatures, students learn whether their own experiences are universal or particular to this province. And, by comparing their experience of living in New Brunswick with the experience of past and present authors, and the experience of their classmates, they clarify their own values and identities. As a teacher, that is important to me, for it is the essential learning that occurs in all classrooms. Of course, the soundest justification for including New Brunswick literature in the classroom is its sheer excellence.
I am sincerely grateful to have been part of this project. It has been eye-opening and delightful to encounter so many new, and now favourite, writers (Anne Compton and Raymond Fraser chief among them). I trust that readers will also discover treasures here – enjoy!