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Revamping Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in Classroom Practice: Negotiating Stereotypes, Literary Language, and Outdated Values
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Culture, Languages and Media (KSM).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8991-8405
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Culture, Languages and Media (KSM). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2565-8875
2024 (English)In: Children's Literature in Education, ISSN 0045-6713, E-ISSN 1573-1693, Vol. 55, no 1, p. 122-139Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this contribution, we explore something rarely reported on in research on children’s literature: how an old children’s book is re-appropriated and altered in ongoing teaching practice. The material consists of the book used in instruction, a Swedish translation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Tant Mittiprick), and transcribed audio recordings collected throughout six weeks of teaching. Participants include a librarian, who conducted the lion’s share of the discussions based on the books, two teachers, and two groups of Grade 3 students. The analysis is conducted based on Langer’s theory of building literary envisionments and the concept of the “third space”. The findings show that the students’ initial reception of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, playfully articulated in the classroom discussions, is shaped by literary stereotypes of old women and connections to everyday experiences. This reception is partly acknowledged by the adults. Thus, this shows the potential of the meaning making process through join negotiation of the third space—connecting prior knowledge and experience to the book. However, the librarian’s evaluations of student responses reinforce a particular didactic reading of the character as someone firm and knowledgeable, playing down the whimsical and silly characteristics of the protagonist. In reading the book aloud, the librarian made significant alterations to the text. With respect to literary language, the librarian provided numerous paraphrases and elaborations which served to support the students in making meaning of the book. More drastic alterations of the text served to avoid reinforcing outdated values, for example antiquated gender roles and references to physical punishment. While the paraphrases of literary terms created opportunities for negotiating the third space and learning about literary language, the sanitised reading of the book with respect to values failed to capitalise on opportunities for contextualising the book and making intertextual connections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024. Vol. 55, no 1, p. 122-139
Keywords [en]
Classroom studies, Gender roles, Literary language, text reception, third space, value
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-50644DOI: 10.1007/s10583-022-09481-0ISI: 000762252500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85125379928OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-50644DiVA, id: diva2:1645039
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Malmö UniversityAvailable from: 2022-03-16 Created: 2022-03-16 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Malilang, Chrysogonus SiddhaWalldén, Robert

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