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Learning to learn in supported parent and toddler groups : a sociocultural investigation

Needham, Martin (2011) Learning to learn in supported parent and toddler groups : a sociocultural investigation. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

Over the last 50 years research has consistently suggested that some types of adult guidance can improve upon 'pure discovery learning' (Mayer, 2004). In the preschool age group studies have suggested that pedagogical strategies identified with Scaffolding, Sustained Shared Thinking, and Co-construction can be advantageous to children's later educational success (Siraj-Blatchford & Sylva, 2004). This thesis examines the cultural practices of adults supporting children's learning in 'free play' during practitioner facilitated 'Parent and Toddler Group' sessions to consider the extent to which these children are being guided towards participating in collaborative learning interactions (Rogoff 1998) by both practitioners and parents. The investigative approach adopted is informed by Socio-cultural theory (Hedegaard & Fleer, 2008, Rogoff, 1998) and develops the complementary use of affordance theory (Gibson, 1979) to investigate the learner as part of a system of mutually effective elements. The thesis draws on observations of 12 children's interactions in two ethnographic case studies set in context by interview and survey data. The thesis identifies and describes a range of modes of interaction employed in the case study parent and toddler groups. The thesis shows how children's experiences vary as a result of the balance of modes that they experience. It suggests strategies to broaden parents' and practitioners' awareness of promoting children's learning through a range of modes of interaction. The study findings echo those of international studies suggesting that early education contexts may encourage individual and peer-learning much more frequently than collaborative learning with adults (Pramling-Samuelsson & Fleer, 2009, Rogoff, 1998).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2011.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2015 16:33
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