A survey and evaluation of the literature on children's interests, 1939-1949

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Martha Nethery Johnson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Franklin McNutt

Abstract: The writer of this study can set forth no better introduction to "A Survey and Evaluation of the Literature on Children's Interests" than to point to an article by J. Wayne Wrightstone on Adolescent Reading Interests, in which he affirms: Interests arise from and contribute toward the individual's growth as he sets and seeks goals . . . For the modern teacher these goals are basic because they determine the general direction in which the individual will become active and attempt to grow-hence, his interests. Some of these interests are deeply seated in the individual; others are more likely to be affected by the environment. Interests are important ingredients of the modern educative process. More than three decades ago, John Dewey prepared a statement on interest and effort. Some of the basic principles which he pointed out at that time have been changed little by the research in succeeding years and are paraphrased in the following statements. An individual will exert effort and learn in order to achieve his goals, or his interests. Interests may be influenced by one's associates, environment, and changes within his own physical and intellectual self. Interests, therefore, have become the starting point of serious educational enterprise. Without interest, any learning situation tends to become dull, formal and of a questionable value .... Origin and development of interests are based upon cardinal principles of individual and social psychology. The individual does not function in compartments, skills in one compartment, interests in another, and thinking in still another. Rather he functions as an integrated organism and various parts or compartments are affected to varying degrees by every act which he performs. In recent years psychological research has discovered certain principles which indicate both the individual and the social origin and development of interests. These may be summarized briefly. The principles which relate more specifically to the individual psychology suggest (1) interests tend to be primarily child centered; (2) interests tend to develop in terms of specific rather than general traits; (3) interests grow in complexity and direction from concrete to abstract forms; (4) interests tend to develop from successful activities; (5) the lower the degree of interests, the greater the chance for change in the direction of interests; (6) the interests of male and female tend to be most unlike after adolescence . . .1

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1950
Children's literature $x Evaluation
Children's stories $x Evaluation
Children $x Books and reading

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