Thursday, August 22, 2019

Usage of Magic and Supernatural Elements in Childrens Literature Research Paper

Usage of Magic and Supernatural Elements in Childrens Literature - Research Paper Example Women began to slowly make their voices heard as an oppressed gender and philosophers were beginning to gain a greater understanding of the workings of the human mind. The child, often considered either a sinful and wild creature or a miniature adult, was beginning to be recognized as something still developing. There was a â€Å"veritable explosion of information about this period of physiological and cognitive development in human beings† and literature became â€Å"a central vehicle for expressing ideas about the self and its history† (Steedman 5). Although perhaps initially introduced as a means of breaking with the strict moralistic attitudes of the past, the use of magic and the world of the supernatural proved effective in teaching children in a way they could understand. Breaking from the ‘normal’ world with the introduction of the supernatural or the magical realm makes it possible for authors to personify various behaviors, values and character traits and thus give children more accessible avenues to complex concepts in keeping with their varying levels of understanding. Cognitive ability begins with birth, but improves upon skills acquired during the preschool years to apply to things outside of the self. There are four main categories of skills developed during this period (Santrock 1997). The first of these are self help skills in which the child learns to take care of their everyday needs such as dressing themselves. They also learn social help skills in which they begin to perceive the importance of helping others through activities such as household chores and demonstrating their ability to think outside of themselves. School skills are introduced in which the child learns the academic tools necessary for success in that arena, particularly in developing the analytical skills necessary for logic and mathematics. The final main category is play skills, in which the child

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