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ERIC Number: EJ809800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0957-5146
Mindful Hands, Gestures as Language: Listening to Children
Nyland, Berenice; Ferris, Jill; Dunn, Lesley
Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, v28 n1 p73-80 Mar 2008
This paper explores ideas of language as a cognitive tool and the role of gesture in expressing children's interests and levels of knowledge. The context is a group of three-year-old children who participate in a weekly music session with a trained musician. The authors present drawings from photographs of children's hands and interpret them, using contextual information, to explain how the positioning of the children's hands reflects their internalized understandings and can be viewed as a rich symbolic language. A discussion of the early childhood curriculum and the use of finger plays has been included to suggest that gesture was initially viewed as part of "the whole child" but, today, activities like finger plays have become ritualized exercises. It is suggested that if adults do not listen to the language of hands they are depriving themselves of a valuable window into children's thinking and learning. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia