ERIC Number: EJ1115130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Literature and the Young Child: Engagement, Enactment, and Agency from a Sociocultural Perspective
Mathis, Janelle B.
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, v30 n4 p618-629 2016
Authors and illustrators of children's literature bring to life characters and contexts that provide demonstrations of agency as well as resources upon which to build agency. Agency is considered here as making one's identity and perceptions visible and actively acknowledged by others to enhance and empower the personal, cultural, and social aspects of one's life. This study examines the responses of one child, age 3½ years, to picture books of various genres. Using a case study frame and ethnographic techniques, the data revealed that the child's responses were embedded in his play and interactions with family and friends. The data were coded into three potential categories representing ways that literature nurtures agency in preschool literacy learners: (1) agency through the discovery of the familiar in stories; (2) agency in the actual engagement of reading--telling a story using the images and inquiring about concepts, events, and vocabulary with an experienced reader; and (3) agency through entering the story and/or becoming a character and extending the story. Further examination across the categories of data led to implications supported by sociocultural insights as to literature's role in agency development.
Descriptors: Sociocultural Patterns, Picture Books, Preschool Children, Ethnography, Case Studies, Personal Autonomy, Self Concept, Role, Child Development, Play, Imagination, Emergent Literacy, Participant Observation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A