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Philosophy & Literature: Philosophy for/with Children & Children's Book

The issue of the introduction of Philosophy in School is studied on the base of the knowledge and the confinement of the disciplinary field of Philosophy (principles, methods, characteristics, theories), as well as of the definition and clarification of general and more specific educational and pedagogical needs, in the frame of the educational system. These very needs must be shown to be related (in a mutual relation) to the use of philosophical practices during the teaching. The need then and the logic of the combination of pedagogical and philosophical methods, techniques, materials and tools could be proved.

In the frame of the study of different level describing this under discussion (according also to the related literature) use, appears also the topic of the emergence of children literature as a space for the development of philosophical view (or of philosophical competencies), but, equally inversely, the possibility of the creation and elaboration of specified (philosophical) material, that is to say, of texts designed for a children public appealing it to this direction. A research will be proposed also, concerning this particular field of children book, its forms, singularities, characteristics and dynamics will be indicated and presuppositions and limitations about its use, the possibilities of its autonomous creation (beyond any pedagogical or didactical expectation), but also the possibilities of its pedagogical and didactic understanding.

Youth adult fiction - Teenage Novel

The course concentrates on the following points:

  • Brief outline of the evolution of Bildungsroman and Künstlerroman, and of teenage   novel.
  • Similarities and differences between the foregoing genres.
  • Basic characteristics of these genres.
  • Central themes that generally run through this narrative genre.
  • The narrative character as a crucial convention of the novel.
  • Analysis of some basic elements of narratology.
  • Autobiographical axis and interiority of the characters.
  • Issues of identity and alterity.
  • Female characters in this narrative genre.

Illustrated Children's Book

The domination of the picture and its modern use, as well as the invasion of new technologies in all aspects of human life create new needs in education. In such a communicative environment, the image narrations, as a field of words and pictures coexistence, can play an important role. This course deals with modern picture books. We will approach questions concerning the definition of the media, its relation with other image narrations and ways to decode both verbal and visual text. Characters, plot, point of view, themes, time and space are areas to be explored. Pictures’ techniques and conventions, as well as the interplay between words and images will also be discussed.

Myths, tales and Gender Representations

In recent years women have noticeably attempted to redefine the mythological universe from their point of view, since to date they have been calumniated in its context, slandered, identified with evil and vested with values that are associated with obedience and conformity to the patriarchal status quo. The feminist attempt to disclose the patriarchal ideology, whose vehicle are the myths and tales, as well as the negative consequences it has on the socialization process regarding women and especially young girls constitutes a political act that is connected with the existence of Gender in the future, but also a cultural act linked with the vision of a female culture that is based on the common experience of the sexes. More specifically:
The course focuses on the relationship between the study of myths/tales and the historical, cultural and ideological change on the other hand and connects their gradual reformation with their appropriation by various cultural and social institutions that are profoundly patriarchal; at the same time it also detects an organic connection between myths/tales and social institutions and ideologies. Specifiably, in its framework there is an examination of the social terms in which these are formed and an exposure of the manner in which these stories represent and reproduce gendered differences and inequalities, focusing on the belief that any misjudgment of the historical, social and political contexts reveals the formation and reproduction of the patriarchal constructions of Gender, as they are practically never disengaged from the circumstances and the reality of the society that creates them, the social and historical conditions that regulate this formation. At the same time, emphasis is placed on the fact that the gendered status quo is also defined as a symbolic state, as it is occurs through the representations and the beliefs about male dominance and female submission. It is expressed by language and the “construction” of gender during the process of transforming notions into action. The understanding of the gendered status as symbolism is particularly powerful in literature and folk literature, which has contributed to the development of the feminist research in general by highlighting the importance of texts for their signification.

Otherwise, on the level of presupposition will be attempted to recognize these interior relations between philosophy and literature which on the one hand permit or impose the parallel or double study of their products, on the other hand impede or make difficult such a combination. It will be shown that the educational design and the finalities related to this design indicate a singular, third locus, where often synergies are a priori imposed, without their particularities or implication have being always clarified.

Nonfiction Books for Children

  • Nonfiction books for children: Historical elements   
  • The categories of  nonfiction books for children
  • Forms of nonfiction books for children
  • The biography in the children  book  
  • The valuation of nonfiction books for children
  • Nonfiction books for children and  teaching approaches
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