A Case Study: Incorporating Young Adult Literature into General Education To Improve Intellectual and Emotional Intelligence

Katherine Ann Irion, Brigham Young University


Institutions of higher learning have required students to take general education courses since such they were conceived and implemented in the 1940s. Requirements vary widely across institutions, but there is a broad consensus that a literature course be required in order to graduate. While these courses feature many types of literature, one literary field is overwhelmingly overlooked: young adult literature. Brigham Young University has recently implemented a young adult literature course that will fulfill a general education requirement. This case study examines the question, "What might be the rationale for including a course in young adult literature as part of the general education curriculum?" The findings of this case study suggest teaching YA literature as a GE course benefits students' emotional and intellectual intelligence. Drawing on observations, interviews, students' work, and students' reflections, analysis concludes that young adult literature has the ability to be used in a university general education class to successfully teach intellectual abilities and to impart and improve emotional intelligence.