Writing to free childhood. The contribution of Leila Berg
Keywords:children’s literature, Leila Berg, libertarian pedagogy, social realism, learning to read
This essay is part of a research work aiming to rediscover and enhance the contribution of Leila Berg, English author and editor who died at the age of 94 in 2012: a fully-fledged player in the profound transformation of children’s literature in Europe during the Sixties and Seventies, she was renowned for her works on the close ties between pedagogical thought and writing, taking part in the debate on the limits of traditional education and literary choices. The innovative depth of Leila Berg’s most famous literary project, the Nippers series for early readers, which began in 1967, may be fully understood from the essays the writer dedicated to the problems of education and language learning: in these, children’s literature, with its reworked topics and stylistic choices, is given a central role for the empowerment of working class children, often deprived of motivating reading experiences both in the family and school contexts.
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