Monash University
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Communities of children: participation and its meaning for learning

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-10-31, 23:21 authored by Anja Hvidtfeldt, Stanek
This article is concerned with ways in which children's social lives appear to have meaning and with children's subjective orientation in the transition from kindergarten to school. The article presents the development of theoretical concepts for ways in which we can understand children - by the aid of the analysis of empirical data dealing with children's subjective views of the life they are living and participating in. In other words, if we wish to understand children and children's actions, we also have to conceptualise the world in which they live just as that world is seen by children at the place where they stand and where they participate. The article covers on the one hand the presentation of the principal findings of a major research project and on the other a more detailed exploration of the concept of communities, including definitions of what children share and of how what they share links to what adults arrange for them. It also presents arguments for how a social approach to children's issues paves the way for more productive measures than an individual approach offers.

International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 139-154