1 School of Education and CI&DEI, Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 Centro Social Jesus Maria José (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Page: 5719 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.1497
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
As part of the Master’s Degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education, a practitioner research study was developed in an Early Childhood Education (ECE) context. The qualitative study was carried out over four months, with a group of children between three and five years old. It aimed to articulate Children’s Literature and Personal and Social Development, through the implementation and evaluation of proposals for storytelling and didactic exploration of three books. Both pedagogical tradition and research have established Children’s Literature relevance for ECE on many levels. As a familiar artifact and experience in contexts and children’s lives, a good quality book is an excellent start for learning situations on specific topics. Although many areas can be explored through books, personal and social development is especially suited. The study drew on this potential and proposed three challenging books and curricular concepts. Each book was analyzed in terms of learning potential by the teacher-researcher. From that analysis, the next step was to prepare activities to be developed with the children that would promote learning concerning those concepts and be connected to the stories. The proposals were discussed with experienced ECE teachers and readjusted.
After that, the three proposals were implemented in an Early Childhood Education center with a group of 25 children. All children were informed of the study after their parents had given informed consent for their participation. Children accepted to join the activities and assist the future teacher in her learning. Data was collected on the involvement and emotional well-being of the children during the activities, through observation and based on the Leuven Scales. Informal interviews and group discussions allowed the collection of children’s perspectives on the book and its main concepts. Finally, children’s performance on the proposed activities and the products (visuals, drawings, storytelling…) were recorded (field notes and audio recording) and analyzed as well. The content analysis was undertaken on the pool of data as a whole, organizing it into main ideas.
The results highlight the importance that books have shown to promote learning associated with the area of Personal and Social Development: i) cooperation and mutual assistance; ii) knowing how to ask for and accept help; iii) social inequalities, poverty, and discrimination; iv) questions of identity and acceptance of individual characteristics. The levels of emotional well-being and involvement suggest that the books and the associated didactic proposals were well received by the children, with levels above the minimum of quality. Children’s Literature proved to be a significant context for promoting the learning of complex and challenging concepts about personal and social development.
Early Childhood Education, Children’s Literature, Personal and Social Development, Practitioner Research, Involvement.