University of Oulu

Bladfors, L., & Kokkola, L. (2023). Critical thinking about history: Swedish teenagers read Holocaust fiction. Barnelitterært Forskningstidsskrift, 14(1), 1–11.

Critical thinking about history : Swedish teenagers read Holocaust fiction

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Author: Bladfors, Linnea1; Kokkola, Lydia2
Organizations: 1Luleå Gymnasieskola
2The University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Universitetsforlaget, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-19


Fiction is often incorporated into the teaching of history in Swedish high schools. However, critical thinking skills are required in order to distinguish historical truths from the artistic freedom of fiction, not least because types of data that constitute historical evidence frequently lack information about the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of the people involved. In providing such elements, literature may either distort understanding of the past or help to develop the critical thinking skills needed when considering historical evidence. This paper includes an empirical examination of how six Swedish teenagers responded to Markus Zusakʼs novel, The Book Thief. The interviews revealed that Zusakʼs narrative style affords critical thinking, but also that collective reasoning and guidance are needed.

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Series: Barnlitterært forskningstidsskrift
ISSN: 2000-7493
ISSN-E: 2000-7493
ISSN-L: 2000-7493
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pages: 1 - 11
DOI: 10.18261/blft.14.1.1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6122 Literature studies
Copyright information: © 2023 Artikkelforfatter(e). Denne artikkelen er publisert med åpen tilgang (open access) under vilkårene til Creative Commons CC BY 4.0-lisensen (