Fact vs. fiction: preschoolers’ learning of information from narrative and expository books
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Expository and narrative books differ in terms of their structure, content, and language. This study investigated 3- and 5-year-old children’s learning of information from different genres, and whether children differ in their preference for the expository genre. Seventy six Turkish-speaking 3- and 5-year olds were presented with expository and narrative books that cover the same topic (i.e., caterpillars). These books contained 4 types of facts (i.e., Narrative-only, Expository-only, Conflicting and Supporting) that aim to investigate: (1) Amount of information children learned from the expository and the narrative book, (2) Children’s preference for the expository book when information between genres conflicted, (3) The effect of convergent information in both the expository and the narrative book on children’s learning. After hearing both the expository and the narrative book each child was asked questions related to information presented in the books. Analysis of children’s answers revealed that 5-year-olds learned more information from both the narrative and the expository book. When information conflicted between narrative and expository books, 3- and 5-year-olds differed in their preference for the expository book. Five-year-olds showed a preference for the expository book whereas 3-year-olds were at chance level indicating susceptibility to learn false information. Lastly, when information converged across the two genres all children regardless of age retained more information. Findings and their implications are discussed in light of the literature.