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ERIC Number: ED467522
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-2
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Education by Imagination: Using Nonfiction Children's Literature to Promote Aesthetic Connections.
Butterfield, Carol L.
In science and social studies, teachers continue to present lessons that generally begin and end with the facts. Teaching students to comprehend is all but forgotten as teachers frequently attempt to cover as much content as possible, regard all content as equal, and divide content into artificial categories that bear little relationship to how individuals use content in the real world. This contradicts the fundamentally speculative nature of history and science, with thorough disregard for the element of story inherent in scientific discovery and history making. A study explored what would happen after children read nonfiction science literature and listened to factual stories. A second-grade teacher and class (n=27) participated in a science unit where the focus would not be on the facts, but on the individual and the personal connections the students would make between scientific facts and their own lives. The aim was to engage the students in a process of "seeing with significance." The study was based on two important theories: the reader response movement; and the Vygotskian notion that learning is more effective and proceeds further when it happens in a social context. It also explored whether the students would construct their new knowledge in the form of a narrative. Although it was not found that these students freely expressed their new learning automatically in a narrative form, considerable evidence was found to support the other two hypotheses. In informal small group conversations the students repeatedly connected new information to their personal experiences and benefited by open discussion during the learning process. When the learning environment was structured to permit an open type of imaginative connection building and collaboration, these second graders used that opportunity to enhance their learning. (Contains 21 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A