The Role of Poetry and Stories of Young Children in Their Process of Learning

By Nowak-Fabrykowski, Krystyna | Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2000 | Go to article overview

The Role of Poetry and Stories of Young Children in Their Process of Learning


Nowak-Fabrykowski, Krystyna, Journal of Instructional Psychology


In the contemporary society children develop special abilities to ask questions, to doubt, and to wonder, that enhances development of their symbolic thinking that in turn help them in the learning process.

This article includes analysis of the link between symbolic thinking and the child's process of learning. The inquiry is guided by the themes developed by children in poetry as a way of expressing their understanding of the world. It is illustrated by the poems published in the newsletters of the Canadian prairies' elementary schools in Winnipeg. The studies are supported by a review of the research showing that development of symbolic thinking is crucial in helping children to learn. It is asserted that the questions asked by children in their poems guide us to their future and ours.

In the research of Moore (1981), it is emphasized that "young children come to school as essentially poetic human beings". She stated, "Many years ago I became aware that poetry is a natural language of young children. All children seem to be born poets" (p. 30).

Wituckie (1970), who also analyzed poetry in the elementary school, asserted that poetry is necessary at school. It develops a child's imagination and abilities to express feelings and beauty. Poems may stimulate our imagination and creativity. According to Wituckie(1970) poetry is a new, imaginative way of seeing, and her belief in poetry is likewise a belief in children - young people who bring so much to poetry and can take so much from it. (p.64)

   I can fly (by Olga 9)
   I can fly like birds up high
   Above my head.
   I love they wings and the colour of the sky.
   Here and there
   the birds are every where
   And when I fly I sing certain lullaby.

In the literature we found a very strong assertion that language is the prime symbolic medium. This is supported by Deri (1983), Gardner (1979), Olson (1991), and Schmidt (1973).

According to Olson (1991), language is used for representing the world; it makes it possible to reflect on and to become aware of the world (p.265).

Piaget (1962) stressed that at about the age of 2 the child discovers the symbolic nature of language when he/she figures out that everything has a name.

Yet, there are different approaches to language acquisition and the thinking process. Chomsky's (1980) theory (innatism) is opposed to that of Piaget (generative) or social psychologists such as Henle (1965) and Vygotsky (1962). For example, Chomsky believed that linguistic structures are hereditary and the role of culture and knowledge is not a basic one.

As Chomsky (1986) stated," The problem, then, is to determine the innate endowment that serves to bridge the gap between experience and knowledge attained-or cognitive systems attained.[.....] We are thus in a good position to ascertain the nature of the biological endowment that constitutes the human "language faculty", the innate component of mind/brain that yields knowledge of language when presented with linguistic experience and that converts experience to a system of knowledge" (p. XXVI).

For Piaget, language is a product of progressive construction of thoughts that reach deeper than the linguistic verbal reality. As language is only a particular form of the symbolic function and as the individual symbol is certainly simpler than the collective sign, it is permissible to conclude that thought precedes language and that language confines itself to profoundly transforming thought by helping it to attain its forms of equilibrium by means of a more advanced schematization and a more mobile abstraction (p.92)..[....] ... As Piaget (1968) emphasized. "There are no innate structures: every structure presupposes a construction" (p. 150).

Henle (1965) stressed the social character of language as an historical phenomenon. He reasoned that to learn a language a person must form the concepts expressed by it or in it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Poetry and Stories of Young Children in Their Process of Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.