”Som om det aldri har skjedd”
Skjønnlitterært arbeid med verdien tilgivelse på 5.–7. trinn
“As if it never happened”: Fictional Work with Forgiveness as a Value amongst 5th–7th Graders
This article examines how middle school pupils respond to an aesthetic approach to forgiveness as a value. We observed a group of pupils aged 10–12 while they were investigating and discussing Stian Hole’s picturebook Garmanns gate (Garmann’s Street, 2008) together with their teacher. We claim that Garmanns gate can be read as a story about forgiveness, and that it is also a picturebook that invites the reader to take a performative, aesthetic position; the reader is encouraged to pay attention to how the story is told as well as to the story itself (Ørjasæter, “Terskelposisjonen”). The focus of the article is to what extent investigating Garmanns gate will shed light on forgiveness, a value which is central in the Norwegian school’s purpose clause. We analysed their comments in the light of a definition that identifies different aspects of the concept of forgiveness. Our theoretical framework is Martha Nussbaum’s theory on the importance of narrative imagination in taking other peoples’ perspectives, and Louise Rosenblatt’s theory on aesthetic and efferent reading. We also refer to Maria Nikolajeva’s views on how the picturebook can promote emotional literacy. To deal with the concept of forgiveness, we use Paul Leer-Salvesen’s definition, which enables us to look at different aspects of the concept. These aspects together with “the emancipating consequences of forgiveness” are the categories we use in analysing our findings (Leer-Salvesen, Min skyld 96). We find that an aesthetic approach to Garmanns gate may provide an opportunity for a broader understanding of forgiveness, and we find that the teacher’s role is essential in guiding the pupils in the common aesthetic approach to the book, and in bringing forth reflections in the conversations.
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