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ERIC Number: EJ854411
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0312-5033
Playgrounds of Learning: Valuing Competence and Agency in Birth to Three-Year-Olds
Macfarlane, Kym; Cartmel, Jennifer
Australian Journal of Early Childhood, v33 n2 p41-47 Jun 2008
In the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector there has been a plethora of literature about practice with children in the birth to five age group (Arthur, Beecher, Dockett, Farmer, Richards, 1995; Dockett & Fleer, 1999; Fleer, 2003, 2005; Hutchins & Sims, 1999; Grieshaber & Cannella, 2001; Press & Hayes, 2000; Stonehouse, 1988). There is also literature about how particular types of ECEC practice assists in promoting intellectual competence, agency and resilience in these young children. However, current research about how to scaffold and value meta-linguistic and metacognitive competence and agency in the birth to three age group appears to be scant (Page, 2005). This paper uses data from interviews and videotaped observations of young children and their families to begin to unpack how learning experiences for birth to three-year-olds happen within particular social contexts. An interpretive and theoretical bricolage (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003; Levi-Strauss, 1966) of theory and literature is used to interrogate this data, acting as a means of informing epistemological understanding about how practice within particular social contexts constrains or enables children as competent and capable learners. The authors argue that a tendency to underestimate the meta-cognitive and meta-linguistic ability of infants and toddlers delimits understanding of what is possible for them within play and learning contexts. Finally, a model of practice is developed that focuses on appreciating and enhancing such abilities in this age group. (Contains 1 figure.)
Early Childhood Australia. P.O. Box 7105, Watson, ACT 2602, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6242-1800; Fax: +61-2-6242-1818; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia