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ERIC Number: EJ1208862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
What Is It Like to Be a Child? Childness in the Age of Neuroscience
Nikolajeva, Maria
Children's Literature in Education, v50 n1 p23-37 Mar 2019
This article considers alternatives to the established constructivist approaches to children's literature, exploring instead the potential of two relatively recent areas of inquiry, cognitive poetics and evolutionary literary criticism. The article questions the assumption, implied if not directly expressed by Peter Hollindale in "Signs of Childness in Children's Books" (1997), that adult writers have the prerogative to write about a child's experience because, since they once were children, a child's mind is accessible to them; that they can know what it is like to be a child. With reference to brain research, this position is untenable due to the cognitive gap between adult and child. While this binary has been strongly opposed in children's literature criticism, and while it is impossible and counterproductive to draw a clear-cut line between childhood and adulthood, Hollindale's concept of childness suggests a number of qualities that cognitive studies considers irretrievably lost when the brain is restructured during adolescence. The purpose and attraction of children's literature, therefore, lie in capturing and artistically representing these qualities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A