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ERIC Number: EJ1079480
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0966-9760
Toddlers' Use of Peer Rituals at Mealtime: Symbols of Togetherness and Otherness
Mortlock, Anita
International Journal of Early Years Education, v23 n4 p426-435 2015
Mealtimes and their associated rituals are recognised as important aspects of human socialisation; however, much of the research about mealtimes in early childhood education settings has focused on health or on adult-child discursive exchanges. The present study aimed to investigate children's interactions with each other and their influence on the structural aspects of mealtime. The participants were four toddlers and their teachers at one community-based childcare in New Zealand. Narrative data were interpreted from video observations and discussions with teachers. Findings showed that the toddlers playfully cooperated with each other in order to develop their own ritual. This ritual subverted the routine, communicated togetherness and reinforced the toddlers' identity as separate to that of the adults. This article posits that teachers should seek to understand and respond sensitively to toddlers' peer rituals, where such rituals engender positive effects on the children's sense of togetherness.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A