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ERIC Number: EJ892110
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
Young Children's Playfully Complex Communication: Distributed Imagination
Alcock, Sophie
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v18 n2 p215-228 Jun 2010
This paper draws on research exploring young children's playful and humorous communication. It explores how playful activity mediates and connects children in complex activity systems where imagination, cognition, and consciousness become distributed across individuals. Children's playfulness is mediated and distributed via artefacts (tools, signs and symbols) such as words, sounds, gestures, gaze, posture, rhythm, and movement using a variety of processes including imagination, imitation, and repetition. Novelty emerges via the dynamic interplay between artefacts within complex systems. This perspective is congruent with the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whariki, and specifically the theoretically-based relationships principle which states that "Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things". Sociocultural historical activity theory informs both the methodological paradigm of the research and the framework for data analysis. The transdisciplinary nature of complexity thinking broadens this psychological sociocultural paradigm. Findings suggest that understanding the interconnected, mediated, and distributed nature of children's playfulness is central to understanding children in early childhood settings. The concepts of interconnectedness and distributed [playfulness and] imagination have pedagogical implications for how teachers understand and view children and themselves in early childhood centre communities, and for curriculum and assessment practices.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; 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: New Zealand