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Health Promot Perspect. 2020 Jan 28;10(1):13-23. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2020.05. eCollection 2020.

Children's literature to promote students' global development and wellbeing.

Author information

1
PhD Candidate in Human Relations Sciences, University of Bari "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy.
2
UNESCO Chair on Health Education and Sustainable Development, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.
3
Department of History, Society and Human Studies, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy.

Abstract

Background: Tales were transmitted from one generation to another, enriching young people with values, beliefs, imagination and creativity. Children's literature still plays a crucial part in education as it provides knowledge and entertainment, representing a typical example of "edutainment". In this paper, we carried out a review to examine pedagogic, didactic and psychological/therapeutic dimensions of children's literature, with the aim of highlighting its role in promoting students' holistic development and wellbeing. Methods: We have searched for original articles (from 1960s to 2019), by using the following keywords: "fairytales" or "fairy tales" or "folktales" or "fables" AND "education" or"development" or "learning" or "teaching" or "school" or "curriculum" or "classroom" AND "children" or "child" or "kids" or "childhood" AND "health" or "wellbeing". Results: We found 17 studies concerning pedagogic aspect of children literature, while 21 and17 studies were selected for didactic and therapeutic dimensions, respectively. From a pedagogic point of view, tales convey basic values useful for children lives. In a didactic perspective, properly chosen storybooks represent a valuable resource for school activities, improving students' language skills and building up a friendly/respectful classroom environment. Children stories are also used by health professionals for therapeutic purposes (bibliotherapy) to prevent unhealthy habits and addictions, or address psychosomatic disorders. Finally, storybooks and web-based/digital stories can be an effective vehicle for health contents, to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles among schoolchildren. Conclusion: Children's literature and storytelling could be helpful in promoting students' global development and wellbeing, when included in school curricular activities.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Fairytales; Health; Literature; School; Storytelling; Wellbeing

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