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ERIC Number: ED400953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
When I Was a Baby: Autobiographical Talk in a Preschool Classroom.
Bromer, Juliet
Much of the current research on children's memory comes from a Vygotskian perspective, focusing on context and social environment, and from a Piagetian perspective, emphasizing the importance of family lore and belief systems in shaping children's memory. Recent studies suggest that young children's representational abilities are continuous with adults' representational and memory capabilities. Current studies have identified three kinds of memories exhibited by young children: (1) general event representation; (2) episodic memory; and (3) autobiographical memory. Recognizing the importance of social interaction and social context in the development of memory, one teacher explored the development of self-reflective talk and memories in a classroom of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. The teacher initiated an ongoing curriculum around memories and babyhood through periodic classroom memory-related discussions, stories, and projects, and recorded group and individual discussions as well as spontaneous episodes of memory talk. The goal of these activities was to help children distinguish between their past as babies and their rapidly increasing maturity as preschoolers through talking about the past. Observations indicate that young children usually recount episodes from their past to adults rather than to their peers, reflecting the findings of studies that suggest memory retrieval in young children requires a cue--often adult-initiated conversations. Over the year, children in the class learned much about how to remember and talk about the past. Children began to initiate remembering discussions independently, indicating their increasing abilities to internalize past experiences in language and memory. Remembering also became a mode through which the children in the class could find solidarity. The task of remembering and thinking about the past appears to be one way in which preschool children can develop a clearer sense of self as they continue to grow and have new experiences in the world. (Contains 18 references.) (KDFB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A