Trinity Prep School
Jun. 7, 2007
The Value of a Fairy Tale in Education

Posted in A Thomas Jefferson Education

Have you ever been uncomfortable reading fairy tales to your children?  When perusing early childhood reading lists, many parents ask,  "Why fairy tales?"   It's a good question for selective moms scrounging book store shelves, libraries, and garage sales for suitable children's literature.  

Consider the following defense for reading fairy tales to your young children:

  1. Fairy tales bring joy into a child's life. Joy works toward physical health, mental brightness, and moral virtue.  Joy is the mission of art and fairy tales are art products.
  2.  Fairy tales give the child a power of accurate observation.
  3. Fairy tales strengthen the power of emotion, develop the power of imagination, train the memory, and exercise the faculty of reason.
  4. Fairy tales are play forms.  The fairy tale, because it presents an organized form of human experience, helps to organize the mind and gives to play the values of human life.
  5. Fairy tales extend and intensify the child's social relations.  His sympathies are active for kindness and fairness, especially for the defenseless, and he feels deeply the calamity of the poor or the suffering and hardship of the ill-treated. He is in sympathy with that poetic justice which desires immediate punishment of wrong, unfairness, injustice, cruelty, or deceit.
  6. Fairy tales introduce real literature to the young child, so that having enjoyed real literature, he will later be eager to satisfy his own desires.  (Source text)

And what do G.K. Chesteron, C.S. Lewis and others think:

"If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other--the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales."

~G. K. Chesterton~
All Things Considered


"Sometimes fairy tales may say best what's to be said"

~C.S. Lewis~
Of Other Worlds


"Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life."

~Johann Christoph Friederich v. Schiller~
German Poet


"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

~Albert Einstein~

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Jun. 24, 2007 - I love fairy tales!

Posted by Alice Gunther

This is all so true!

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Jun. 26, 2007 - Great Post!

Posted by Crimson Wife

Today it seems like fairy tales get bashed by both those on the Left (too violent, too gender-stereotyped, even "ageist") and those on the Right (who are often uncomfortable with the magical elements). While we need to be careful which stories we choose, the right ones can do a great job at reinforcing the moral values we wish to instill in our children.

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Jun. 26, 2007 - Fairy Tales

Posted by Kimberly Wasson

J.R.R. Tolkien was heavily influenced by his early readings of George McDonald's fairy tales. Fairy tales foster imaginative play and fantasy...children need to step outside of reality, from time to time!

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Jul. 24, 2007 - Fairy Tales For All

Posted by danielbbq

"Let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage"
- Micheal Flaherty, President, Walden media

Maureen, Michael Flaherty gave a great speech that speaks to your point.

Our imagination lets us know that we are alive!

Edited by danielbbq on Jul. 24, 2007 at 11:11 AM

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