the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature, a small institution carrying a national load
On the occasion of the sixteenth anniversary of IRHCL (the Institute for research on the History of Children’s Literature), MohammadHadi Mohammadi speaks about this small institution and its big achievements…
On the occasion of the sixteenth anniversary of IRHCL (the Institute for research on the History of Children’s Literature), MohammadHadi Mohammadi informed about this institute’s effort to establish “the History of Childhood culture ExpoMusem” and also to publish the book: “Children and Childhood Studies in Iran”.
In an interview with ISNA, this author and researcher in children’s literature who is also one of the co-founders of IRHCL, on the anniversary of the foundation of this non-governmental and non-profit institute on March 5th stated:
“One of the most imperative realizations that we are yet to accomplish is to establish “the History of Childhood culture ExpoMusem in Iran” which could be achieved through cooperative means with the municipality and the cultural heritage center; considering the fact that 22 thousand pieces of document, tools and objects regarding this matter, have been procured. As another part of our program in accordance with Children’s studies, publishing the book “Child and Childhood in the History and Culture of Iran: From Ancient Times to the Present” is currently undergoing its final stages of inquiry and composition after ten years of research and preliminary studies.”
The Author of “The History of Children’s Literature in Iran” book series also added:
“If the achievements of this Institute is put into thorough examinations, this job must be done in comparison with such governmental organizations as Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, conferring with the approach taken by the academic and higher education consensus. This institute is a small institute, made up of not over fifteen members at its core who undertake and carry out research, procurement of museum and library objects, setting up up websites and equipping virtual resources, etc. This is the only institute in Iran, which holds one of the most influential reading promotion websites (Ketabak.org) containing a vast and exceptional database. Putting such significant effort into practice has proven to be quite arduous and it is in fact, in a national scale, therefore we are interested to witness the collaboration and support from such organizations as Institute for the Intellectual Development of children and Young Adults. Such organizations are expected to be pioneering in the field of research, not turning a blind eye. The main subject of our research currently, is to complete our childhood studies project which entails child and childhood from ancient times to the present; from the Iranian Plateau to a country called Iran.”
Mohammadi Also referred to the promotional aspects of the Institute for research on the History of Children’s Literature:
“It has been four or five years since we entered the promotional front and with stablishing a unique method with regards to the promotion of reading and strengthening of basic literacy, especially in underserved areas, we have been able to take monumental steps forward. The truth of the matter is, that until our children’s basic literacy is subpar, no level of comprehension is expected. We have stablished a new method called “Read with Me” that won the prestigious IBBY-Asahi Prize.”
He then mentioned the activities of the institute, claiming that in the field of research, they even surpass academic and higher education organizations, also stating:
“Regardless of the fact that we are not interested in making comparisons and drawing conclusions, personally, I think that many governmental organizations including the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, should welcome our promotional activities and research. But I do not know the reason for their reluctance. Considering that the “Ketabak.org” website has over four thousand hits per day, it is a wonder why this website is not referred to as a source for propagation and recognition of children’s literature at any of a thousand libraries associated with the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. Or why some branches of this respected institute in many provinces, especially Tehran, will not opt to buy and make use of the History of Children’s Literature book series which is of great value and guidance to any tutor and librarian, in their libraries? This is in light of the fact that this series is directly related to the Iranian culture and not anywhere else.”
Finally Mohammad Hadi Mohammadi specified:
“We are aware of our situation and we know that we are confronted by many issues when we conduct research. Although today, Children’s literature has gained a prominent foothold as a field in some universities, this matter is more superficial than it is content based, therefore it has yielded very little effect regarding children’s literature in Iran.”
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