Academic journal article Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

Childhood: Creativity and Representation

Academic journal article Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

Childhood: Creativity and Representation

Article excerpt

Writing for children, or about children, is deceptively easy. Children remain an enigma represented by adults. They are not in a position to offer an alternative view of themselves. However, they can turn away from a book or an activity to show their lack of interest,just as a tale or a game might captivate them. Children's reception of material intended for them, and reaction to what they view or hear, is confined to gestures, interjections, and limited vocabulary--and grown-ups rarely seek to decipher children's reception aesthetics. Fortunately, some creative minds and hearts have preserved the child within them. Others have explored the universe of children, from toddlers to young adults, locally and globally, through attentive and intensive experience with children.

This issue of Alif is published on the centennial anniversary of founding the first Casa dei bambini, a progressive educational institution for children, which seeks an alternative mode in bringing them up, aimed at nurturing their independence. The pedagogue of this innovative method, Maria Montessori, is translated into Arabic for the first time in this issue. Her method remains exemplary today, and Montessori schools are found in the four corners of the world. …

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