Education is one of the important fields that prepares individuals for the future and aims to provide all the necessary equipment. Although education is divided into many different branches, I will be talking about primary schools and kindergartens. Children communicate with the information and observations they have learned from the family and social environment until kindergarten and form the basis of their personalities. In this whole process of kindergarten or pre-school, while still with the family, the child should be given lifeblood and fed in every area in terms of development. Although love is the basis of life water, healthy and safe communication within the family, age-appropriate games played with family members, healthy communication with the social environment, and understanding of their spiritual needs apart from their basic needs and meeting them safely at the right time.
A child’s imagination; Even when he grows up, it positively affects the decisions he makes, the things he can do, the way he grasps his potential, and his flexibility to produce new ideas. The fairy tale, which is conveyed to the child with the right narration at the right time, is a great source of psychological nourishment for the child. In this period, when we lay the foundations of a child’s imagination and personality; The more we nurture its moral, conscientious and cultural side, the more we will fulfill our duty. No matter what the conditions are, no child’s dream world should be a desert, trees should be planted one by one, watered with care and patience, joy and love should never be missing from this garden. What we plant in this garden; If the trees of imagination, culture, conscience and moral values, being understood, heard, and understanding that they are not alone, are properly watered and nurtured, they will become individuals who are self-consistent, virtuous, have a high capacity for love, and can make the right decisions.
The perspective of the adults around them is also important in the formation of the imagination of children. While reading fairy tales can be nurturing in the eyes of adults, it is considered meaningless by some adults. At this point, the adult who does not understand the importance of the tale should go back and look for it within himself. How would he feel if told to him? Was she never told? Why is it so rigid? When did imagination become insignificant to itself?
If we want to experience important developments on behalf of our society, if we want to understand social peace, if we want to become a society that cares about moral, cultural and conscientious values, can understand each other in unity, and always moves forward, we should raise our children with fairy tales that will feed them psychologically.
Education is a field that prepares individuals for the future and affects the future of society with its contributions. Undoubtedly, fairy tale support should be prepared and special fairy tale projects should be provided for children whose personalities are newly formed in this field.
1. Fairy Tale and Education
A fairy tale is a mental playground. Play is an activity that children enjoy and play with love. These activities were counted as extracurricular activities for many years and were not included in the education process. For this reason, the game was not mentioned in school books and lessons. However, in today’s educational approaches, it is emphasized that educational games should be used for active learning of children. Scientists such as Jean Piaget, Jérôme Bruner, Lev Vygotsky and Donald Winnicott point out that play is effective in the mental and physical development of children. (Sun, 2020)
Today, in order to ensure that children learn while having fun, various activities such as fairy tales, stories, riddles, puzzles, rhymes and nursery rhymes are included in schools. One of them is fairy tales. Fairy tales are handled for both play and educational purposes. It is used for socialization, self-confidence and motivation for school work as well as language and mental skills of children.
The aim of development with fairy tales is to enable children to keep their focus and learn effectively. The fairy tale is therefore a means, not an end. Fairy tales act as a bridge between the child and the culture. Stories have an important place in the lives of everyone, especially children. Through stories told to themselves and others about what happened to other people, children gain insight into who they are. Accordingly, they form their own identity by combining their unique, personal family histories with the legends of the culture. (Guest, 2021)
Educational fairy tales are included during the workshop. The fairy tale workshop for children aims to gradually increase and teach children knowledge, enough free imagination and focus. Educational tales contribute to the development of various skills in children. These are listed as entering the post-tale role, fine-gross motor development, active learning, thinking, questioning, asking questions, establishing empathy, creating problem solutions, creativity, effective communication, and obeying the rules. According to researches, learning with games approach is effective for students at all levels (Güneş, 2015).
2. Selection of Tales
Children want to enjoy the story they read; but the source of this pleasure is also more limited because of their limited experience; because children fail to understand some concepts because of their complexity. For this reason, expressions should be simpler in terms of both language and form. Children’s fairy tales must have an immediacy; most issues are avoided and the relationship of the people who acted to the action is given quite clearly. Also, the relationships that govern those who act—whether these are operational or situational subjects or values—must be clearer. (Guest, 2021) In addition to these, instead of the techniques, ornaments and metaphors used to strengthen the expression in adult literature; Simpler expressions, away from metaphors, should be chosen. The aim is to increase the efficiency that the child can get from the fairy tale, and to ensure that he enjoys it at the same time. However, the richness of words used in fairy tales is important. Enabling children to use the new words acquired with each fairy tale in their personal life will expand their vocabulary and enable them to use our precious language Turkish in the best way. One of the most important contributions of the tale is the use of new words and the teaching of new words. Fairy tales, which are seen as a good educational tool, can help children learn their mother tongue, use words properly and enrich their vocabulary. A strong connection is felt between the fictional world presented to the child in fairy tales and the real world. This can enable the child to gain an idea about the realities of life by making sense of the feelings, thoughts and messages conveyed through the heroes. Undoubtedly, all the information conveyed through fairy tales will take an important place in the mind of the child.
Texts written for children can be converted into adult texts or vice versa, texts written for adults can be adapted for children; as such, these two species feed off each other to establish a reciprocal relationship. (Konuk, 2021) The texts written for adults can be made ready for narration, if deemed appropriate, by simplifying them in a way that children can understand and by arranging them in a way that they can gain a few gains. At this point, the important thing is to distinguish between the child and the adult and to arrange the text accordingly. Hunt identifies a number of distinctive features that differentiate childhood from its counterpart in adulthood, such as spontaneity, mental perfection, psychological pressures, emotional attachment to mature people, lack of abstract thinking skills, and degree of distraction. Taking these features into account, adult texts can be inspired or transformed into children’s fairy tales.
McDowell Miles wrote about the characteristics of children’s books: “Children’s books are generally shorter; he also tends to prefer active rather than passive behavior with dialogues in chapters rather than descriptions and introspections. The child is the protagonist model. Traditions are overused. The story unfolds in a clear moral order that many adults are unaware of. Children’s books tend to be more optimistic than discouraging. Language is child-oriented. The plot takes shape in a certain order and ambiguities are generally rejected. Finally, we can talk about a magical and imaginary atmosphere as well as simplicity and adventure.
Another name who thinks about children’s literature is Perry Nodelman. Nodelman found the following features while doing his research on children’s literature. children’s literature;
• It is simple,
• focuses on action,
• is optimistic,
• refers to childhood,
• includes innocence,
• has a tendency to be fictitious,
• a type of divine love adventure,
• it is instructive,
• there is a tendency to balance the ideal with the instructive.
3. Children Growing up with Fairy Tales
In every fairy tale read or taught, the child notices and internalizes important values such as goodness, truthfulness, honesty, justice, love, compassion, hard work, self-confidence, respect and patience. In each fairy tale, the internalization continues and is completed in the focused subject. It is extremely important for children to grow up with these values and to be able to transform these values into behaviors. By acquiring these values, children build the foundation of a healthy society. They will ensure social continuity by transferring these values to the next generations. Societies need the transfer of values and their adoption by individuals, in other words, values education in order to sustain their existence and support the development of the individuals they contain. One of the important roles in transferring these values to the individuals in the society falls to the tales. These fairy tales, which children read or listen to lovingly and willingly, are also important in terms of shaping their characters. (Passenger, 2019)
Emotional and psychological gain
Motor development gain with pre- and post-tale exercises
Moral values acquisition
Imagination, problem solving acquisition
Growing vocabulary acquisition
Easy focus gain
Learning outcome through someone else (through the character in the story)
The acquisition of understanding and embodying abstract concepts with fairy tales
Socialization, effective communication gain
4. What Should I Do?
At this point, you can do your own research and choose fairy tales that are suitable for the values described above and that can provide appropriate acquisitions for your child.