ERIC Number: ED168041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Learning about Work--A Study of Contemporary Fiction for Children.
Russell, Patricia R.
An analysis of 255 books written since 1970 for children in the primary grades reveals that two of every three books do not mention career concepts or provide information on work values. Those books that do refer to work do so in a way that subordinates the concept to the plot and character development, often showing the child that work is done by someone other than children. If the child character is under eight years old and has assigned tasks to perform, he/she is usually responsible for taking care of other family members or animals at home. These tasks take on added significance if the family survival is at stake. Care of larger or wild animals present special challenges and brings self-esteem for the worker and recognition of the worker's competence by others. Books for seven-and eight-year-old children show characters working beyond the family in projects that earn money or that benefit the community. Stories with adult protagonists usually deal with the larger concerns of community and country and present positive role models for the reader. Generally, books that show respect for hard work also criticize laziness, leaving jobs unfinished, and exploiting other people. (A six-page bibliography of children's books with work themes is appended.) (MAI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Study prepared at Stephen F. Austin State University