Saturday, 27 September 2014

Fiction, It's A Pleasure.

Did you know that fiction can be used to enhance and support the learning experiences of students?

I did know, but hadn't really investigated it any further.  There is some literature out there about how reading fiction has many benefits to children and adults alike.  The most written about benefit is that of empathy and how empathy is developed through the shared experience of a story, a fiction one at that.  Fiction provides a true to life experience for the reader to become involved in, to make their own knowledge from and to form their own opinion about.  In fact, some literature and research states that the more widely you have read, the more general knowledge you can have and a greater understanding of human nature.  The National Literacy Trust has researched the benefits of reading for pleasure and has found that through reading, children can acquire skills that would take considerably longer to develop were they taught independently.  Improved reading, greater vocabulary, improved writing style and spelling and importantly, greater comprehension skills are all developed through reading for pleasure.  There is also evidence that these skills are developed in adults too. It would seem that reading for pleasure is largely underrated, and quite often overlooked when it comes to the curriculum.  For greater understanding of concepts within context, a fiction story can provide a learning experience as close to the truth as the writer and the reader allows it to be.  Quality literature shares with the reader important information about people and life that we might not otherwise learn or experience in our lifetime.  It's the role of the teacher librarian to highlight the availability of fiction resources and share the libraries fiction resources with classroom teachers.  It is highly valuable for the teacher librarian to support classes with quality literary learning in the library.  Resources need to be made available for students and teachers and embedded into classroom learning.  

  • National Literacy Trust (2006) Reading For Pleasure. Retrieved 28 September, 2014.
  • Patton, J.M. (2014) The Whole Truth: The Importance of Fiction. Retrieved 21 September, 2014

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