It is often seen that there is a natural desire in children to know what is going on around them. The same insatiable appetite also manifests itself when reading, as children prefer story books loaded with informal information, a study suggests.
While the researchers were aware of children’s interest in causal information, they were unsure whether this influenced children’s preferences for real activities, such as reading.
A new study in Frontiers in Psychology finds that children prefer storybooks with more causal information.
The results could help parents and teachers choose the most appealing books to increase children’s interest in reading, which is important for improving early literacy and language skills.
Children have a strong need to understand the workings of the world around them and frequently bombard parents and teachers with questions about how and why things work the way they do (sometimes with embarrassing consequences).
Researchers have been aware of children’s appetites for causal information for some time. However, no one had previously linked this phenomenon to real world activities such as reading or learning.
“There has been a lot of research on children’s interest in causation, but these studies almost always take place in a research lab using highly artificial procedures and activities,” said Margaret Shavlik of Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.
“We wanted to explore how this early interest in causal information might affect daily activities with young children – such as reading books together,” added Shivalik.
It is important to find the factors that motivate children to read books. Encouraging young children to read more improves their early literacy and language skills and could help them start their education on the right foot.
Reading books with a parent or teacher is a great way for kids to start reading, and just choosing the types of books kids prefer the most can be an effective way to keep them. interested and motivated.
Shavlik and his colleagues hypothesized that children prefer books with more causal information. They investigated whether this was true by conducting a study of 48 children aged 3 to 4 from Austin, Texas.
Their study involved an adult volunteer who read the children two different but carefully matched story books, and then asked them for their preferences afterwards.
“We read to the children two books: one rich in causal information, in this case on why animals behave and look like what they do, and one that was low causal, simply describing the characteristics and animal behaviors, ”Shavlik said.
The children seemed equally interested and excited when they read either type of book. However, when asked which book they preferred, they tend to choose the book loaded with causal information, which suggests that children were influenced by this key difference.
“We believe this result may be due to children’s natural desire to learn how the world works,” Shavlik said.
“If children do prefer story books with causal explanations, adults might seek out causally richer books to read with children – which in turn might increase the child’s motivation to read. read together, thus facilitating early literacy, ”Shavlik said.
The study provides the first indicator that causation may be the key to engaging young minds in routine learning activities.
Future studies could determine whether causal-rich content can improve specific learning outcomes, including literacy, language skills and beyond.
After all, learning should be about understanding the world around us, not just memorizing information.