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ERIC Number: EJ985234
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0269-2465
"Teacher, I Showed Her How to Do That!": Teaching Early-Years Children through Mixed-Age Play
Doherty, Andrea
Primary Science, n122 p24-26 Mar 2012
The principle of mixed-age play was first encountered in "Golden Key" schools in Moscow, where the schools were originally set up and organised (and continue to be so) in accordance with the work of Vygotsky. Vygotsky said that children can learn through imitation, or "emulation" as it has come to be known. Children observe someone more competent completing a task or activity and then emulate the action: they do not copy. They watch but then do it in their own way; they may adapt or slightly change it to suit themselves. In the mixed-age classroom, with a range of ages and of developmental stages, this is a common occurrence. The benefits are not just for the young children learning from their older peers. Vygotsky also identified "reflecting learning" as another form of learning, which focuses more on the child doing the "teaching" in a shared learning experience. As a child teaches, they are reflecting their knowledge as if off a mirror. Their knowledge is presented in a different manner to when they were learning it, and as it is reflected it becomes more enriched, embedded and contextualised. Reflecting learning and emulation are just two of the many Vygotskian concepts that apply to the mixed-age classroom. "Emotion in learning" and "maturing functions" are also evident Vygotskian concepts that appear in the context of the mixed-age classroom. (Contains 3 figures.)
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)