How to Develop your Childs Moral Development through Literature

Literary study is mainly credited for its contribution to language development. The lesser known contributions to social and emotional development are of equal importance. Social intelligence is encouraged through the structure of imitation – art imitating life.

 Reading literary fiction contributes to moral development through the enhancing of social skills and not only provides a means to entertainment. The learning environment of the written word provides a safety net through which the reader can gain insight into one’s self, influence thinking, choices and behavior. In this way narrative story telling is an effective tool in encouraging your child’s moral development.

Structure of storytelling conducive to learning

Storytelling facilitates the social and moral learning experience through its structure. A simulated world is created. This world depicts setting, characters and situations through which the child can easily identify and relate to.

Connections are made between the configured imitated world and the reader’s reality. It is through this structure of the simulated world that the child is able to develop relationships with self and others. The simulated experiences offer insight and practice for real social interaction and a moral frame view.

Safety of the dual experience

The safety is in the simulated world. The child is transported into this makeshift world while at the same time aware of his or her own identity and reality. The dual experience is created as narratives cannot be read in isolation, but facilitates a connection to the outside world through the child’s experiences and knowledge.

The emotional fictitious world promotes social skills and moral intelligence through the child’s empathetic engagement to the experiences created. Should the child not have personal experience of physical abuse, the simulated experience allows the child to develop the appropriate reactions. This dual world experience is not only safe, but highly effective as well.

Fantasy narratives suited to moral and social development

Fantasy literature promotes better social adaptability. This genre not only invites the child to suspend disbelief from an isolated standpoint, but rather to weave oneself into the vibrant colors of the narrative, making it one’s story.

Awareness of issues such as gender identity and race are subtly interwoven through the threads of the story through the creation of fantastical characters. These characters face the same challenges, choices and dilemmas that we humans do, providing the training ground for appropriate behavior identification and emulation.

Gains of learning through literature

Promotes positive behavior Social and moral development in children is enhanced as compared to  non-reading children Knowledge of self and others is developed Encourages the acceptance of multiple perspectives which stimulates empathy 

The dual world experiences offered through literature provide us with opportunities for social and moral growth in a safe optimal learning environment. Its multiple-fold function allows multiple connections to be drawn across fictional and real worlds, affecting the child’s perspective on self, life, hopes and faith.