Skönlitterär läsning och historiemedvetande hos barn i mellanåldrarna
Sammanfattning: “ if you only read the book … you get the knowledge into your head once. If you talk about it, you get a more distinct memory of it, I think” (Emma, 11)This thesis shows how a novel by Maj Bylock, Drakskeppet, was used in education within thematic work, the Viking Age, among ten-year-olds and eleven-year-olds for five weeks. The aim of the project was to investigate if and how pupils create or develop an historical consciousness when they had written and talked about the text in a novel. The study examines and analyses how three pupils in particular look upon history and ‘time’ in this process and if identification with characters in the novel takes place.In the theoretical framework, which focuses on Judith Langer and her theories on ‘envisionment building’, that is on how children create text worlds , a general survey presents research findings about how children (10-12 years) interpret fiction. Furthermore the very complex construct of ‘historical consciousness’ is discussed.In the second part, the study is described and its results are discussed: When these children form their personal historical consciousness their focus on the past and the present is apparent, while they have few links to the future. From the way characters’ lives are presented in Drakskeppet these young readers notice social differences in this fictional society of the past. Even though they also see parallels with the time they live in, they often conclude that ”things were worse” in the past. Another result is that an historical consciousness is generally developed when children can emotionally connect to their own lives.A second conclusion drawn in the analysis of this project is that children should read fiction to learn about and understand History. In thematic work of this kind, pupils are offered opportunities to develop their reading and interpreting capacities even though the purpose of the work is the emergence of the pupils’ historical consciousness. It should be understood from this investigation, though, that reading without talking about the texts seems to have very little effect on how children develop their understanding of texts or an historical consciousness.
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