Multisensory Reading in Early Childhood: Systematic Review with Theoretical Guidance for Human Development Studies

Kucirkova, Natalia and Rodriguez-Leon, Lucy (2023). Multisensory Reading in Early Childhood: Systematic Review with Theoretical Guidance for Human Development Studies. Human Development [Early Access].

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000531633

Abstract

Our systematic qualitative analysis advances the field of human development with an integrative review of sensory research in children’s reading of books and e-books. Based on a systematic literature review of 35 papers, we qualitatively synthesise multi-disciplinary literature concerned with children’s sensory development and the activity of reading. We map the studies’ characteristics, including their methodological designs and primary theoretical concepts (embodiment and materiality). We highlight empirical research gaps and lack of literature attention particularly for critical engagement with sensorial research. We find notable terminological discrepancies across qualitative and quantitative studies and lack of attention to the developmental aspects of children’s sensory reading and its dynamic interaction with books’ affordances. Our theoretical contribution lies in identifying the emerging area of multisensory m(ai)cro research as a future agenda for studies of children’s reading, which we support with a terminological guide and a conceptual framework.

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