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Browsing by Author "Jaakkola, Piia"

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  • Jaakkola, Piia (2018)
    Former studies have shown that reading fiction has an impact on the development of different kinds of skills regarding our minds. Skills like empathy or making conclusions based on something we read can nowadays be included in the concept of literacy, along with knowledge of literary elements and the mechanical ability to read. International literacy tests also scrutinize the mental skills connected to reading. However, their ability to measure these skills are restricted by their narrowly phrased questions and short texts. The purpose of this study is to look into the mental skills connected to reading fiction from a child-focused viewpoint. The study examines the topic through the concept of aesthetic knowledge referring to knowledge gained through an aesthetic activity such as reading fiction. The aim of this study is to portray the kinds of aesthetic knowledge that reading fantasy literature evokes in child readers, and to is to describe how the aesthetic knowledge appears. The data of this study consists of video messages filmed by five 5th and 6th graders while reading a fantasy novel of their choice during January-March 2017. The transcribed data was analysed using content analysis and by mirroring the data to Maria Nikolajeva's (2014) theory of the aesthetic knowledge of child readers. The aesthetic knowledge of these children had three categories: 1) knowledge of others, 2) knowledge of the real world, the world of literature and the relationship between these two, and 3) knowledge of themselves. Aesthetic knowledge appeared when the children discussed their understandings and conclusions, as well as their uncertainties and initial impressions that were changed by new information. The versatility of these results brings up the need and interest to further investigate the connection between children's mental skills and reading fiction.