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Humanities 2019, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020074

Productive Remembering of Childhood: Child–Adult Memory-Work with the School Literary Canon

1
Instutute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
2
College of Foreign Languages, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
3
Primary School, No. 28, 50-001 Wrocław, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Narratives as Transnational Cultural Heritage)
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PDF [246 KB, uploaded 12 April 2019]

Abstract

This essay, co-written by adult and child researchers, marks an important shift in the field of children’s literature studies because it promotes an academic practice in which children are actively involved in decision-making. In our polyphonic account of the collaboration, we draw on the ideas of productive remembering, re-memorying, and child-led research to advance a new pedagogical approach to the current, adult-centered literary school canon in Poland, which was compiled in 2017 by a panel of politically appointed experts. We exemplify our proposal by discussing “Staś and Nel in the 21st Century”: Do Long-established School Readings Connect Generations?”, a participatory research project conducted at a primary school in Wrocław, Poland, in spring 2018. As we argue, selected texts from the canon may catalyze memories of childhood from older readers that can be shared with younger readers to develop their own connections with these texts. Such an exchange may open new individual and collective remembering spaces linking intragenerational perspectives with intergenerational meanings and resulting in a school canon that promotes both national cohesion and openness to other cultures. Seen thus, our approach can be adopted in school and other settings to engage children and adults as co-creators of particular memory-work methods. In broader terms, it can promote a critical and action-oriented understanding of the heritage of childhood in Poland and elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: productive remembering; literary school canon; participation; child-led research productive remembering; literary school canon; participation; child-led research
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Deszcz-Tryhubczak, J.; Marecki, M.; Chawar, E.; Kaczkowska, M.; Kowalska, K.; Kulawik, A.; Ożlańska, M.; Palczyńska, M.; Parcheniak, N.; Pszczołowski, E. Productive Remembering of Childhood: Child–Adult Memory-Work with the School Literary Canon. Humanities 2019, 8, 74.

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