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Historical Imagination Skills of Preschool Children as Reflected in Their Clay Works

This study was carried out to determine how pre-school children worked their imagination skills in historical thinking processes and how they constructed the past in this way. This qualitative study was designed as a case study. The research was conducted in the spring term of the school year of 2015-2016. The study group of the research consisted of twelve children in the age group of five and six studying in a kindergarten in central Sinop, Turkey. The participants of this study were selected using convenience and criterion sampling of purposive sampling method. The data of this study were derived from the products that children modeled with clay, unstructured interview records conducted with children and participant observer notes of the researcher. Within the scope of the qualitative research method, the clay products that formed the data of the research were analysed descriptively within the frame of research questions, based on Fines’s historical imagination category, and by being supported with interview results and participant observer notes. As for the results of the research, children were observed to model with clay such objects as forks, spoons, dishes, fewer cooking cauldrons, egg pans and egg the most from among sociocultural elements that represented the past. The products that children modelled with clay were objects which they experienced generally in their daily lives and/or during museum activities. It was evident that children present these objects in imaginary fiction, rather than fantastic elements, and present their dynamic imagery in a narrative context compatible with their real purpose. But it was observed that they detach themselves from historical reality in some ways and suffered problems of thinking anachronically by changing concepts when they were imagining some objects with which they did not have much experience.

Historical Imagination, Historical Context, Preschool Education, Modeling Studies With Clay


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