Opening and closing interactive spaces: early years pedagogy and four year old children's contributions to it in two English settings.

Payler, Jane K. (2005) Opening and closing interactive spaces: early years pedagogy and four year old children's contributions to it in two English settings. In, British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2005, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales,UK, 14 - 17 Sep 2005. UK, Education-line22pp, 1-22.


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This paper draws on a study of the sociocultural influences on the learning processes of ten four-year-old children in their second year of the Foundation Stage. The ten children, very close in age, were in one of two early years settings in England: a community-run pre-school playgroup with a largely invisible pedagogy (Bernstein, 1996) and a reception class in a primary school with a more visible pedagogy.
Following on from a paper presented at the BERA New Researchers Conference 2004, this paper recaps briefly on the different interactive patterns which were available to and co-constructed by children in the two settings. Drawing on children’s experiences in specific teaching and learning episodes, the paper examines how the pedagogies of the settings created open or closed interactive spaces, inviting, building on or limiting children’s contributions. The study goes beyond words to consider a range of communicative modes, the ‘communicational ensemble’ (Kress and Van Leeuwen, 2001:111), used in creating interactive space. It draws on diagrams, outline drawings from video stills and detailed transcription incorporating gaze, body positioning, tone of voice and use of resources to examine the factors involved in shaping the interactive learning experiences of children in the two settings.
The paper shows how the pre-school pedagogy provided opportunities for more open, negotiated space between adults and children, in which children’s agency was encouraged and supported, and for collaboration, creating shared meanings. The reception class pedagogy offered more closed adult-controlled space, creating ‘classroom’ meanings. Children’s access to and use of interactive space in reception varied according to staff perceptions of children’s ability and identity, as did the encouragement of children’s agency. The findings suggest that although both early years settings work to the same Foundation Stage curriculum, their sub-cultures of pedagogy ensured that the curriculum was differently enacted in each, offering quite distinct interactive opportunities for children in which learning was mediated in different ways.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Related URLs:
Keywords: early years education, participant interaction, four year old children, pupil development, multimodality, sociocultural patterns, teaching methods
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Professional Practice & Pedagogy
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (HCIU)
ePrint ID: 38170
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
15 September 2005Published
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:07

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