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ERIC Number: ED415987
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Kindergarten Language: Rules, Roles, and Themes in the Home Center.
West, Martha M.
This qualitative study analyzed the language of 24 kindergarten students in the classroom's home center during the first weeks of school. Data were collected through informal interviews with the teacher, audio recordings and field notes taken during observation of children at play in the home center. Analysis of spontaneous conversation began with weekly transcript reviews, and categories were developed and revised. The categories for analysis included rules, roles, and themes of the play because they reflected the repetitious content of the language and the primary foci of play. Findings indicated that children adopted explicit rules such as staying in the first center selected, but also adopted two implicit rules: (1) upon entering the home center, you declare your role or claim a play prop; and (2) helping and cooperating are part of how you play in the home center. Roles assumed by the children were family relationships, dating, occupations, animals, and "beyond experience" roles such as angel or ghost. The theme analysis revealed skills in negotiating for the play theme used, identified conditions for successful negotiation, showed variations in themes by site visit and group composition, and revealed verbal control over threatening themes. The language of mixed-gender play groups was more complex and imaginative than any single-gender group. Groups containing males focused more on danger and death than did all-female groups. Results indicated that the students used language to gain control over danger and death and to express perceptions about family and friends. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A