The Bigger Questions Is play and learning separable or intact? Do parents teach or play when we play with our children? Do parents have an agenda (when we play we need to teach and children need to learn something (getting some benefit out of play- intellectual gain) or can we have just fun (playfulness)? Are children and parents aware of their interests, skills and confidence levels? Can we evaluate these info and cues during play? How adults and children influence (manipulate) and impose their agendas to the other partner? Do we allow (let go) the partner to jeopardize our agenda? Or Do we insist on continuing with our agenda?
The Research Questions How mothers and children respond to each other when they initiate or terminate an inteaction during play? What types of responses do they use? On what conditions? How the flow of the play change based on the responses given to each other?
The Method Selecting the moms and children: Two American and two Chinese mothers Child age (start to pretend and talk) Home visits: I video-recorded (15 minutes on average) the dyads while they played with the toys chosen from the playgroup toys
Data coding and analysis The videos were transcribed. The play was divided into strips. I looked for a theme, the initiator, type of initiation, the terminator and type of termination. 23 response types (e.g., instruction, demonstration, guidance) given by the moms were identified. Types of play were described. The categorize were emerged from the data & the literature. Theme: Strips were identified based on the content and materials used to establish a common interest. Episodes: Within the theme, whenever the partner used a different types of response, it coded as a new episode.
Initiation StylesInitiations 1.Pointing to a toy 2.Picking up a toy 3.Offering a toy 1.Gestural 4.Pick up+Name+Show 5.Pick up+Name+Play 6.Name 7. Asking a specific question 8. Asking a general question 2.Vocal 9.Demonstration 3.Demonstration 10. Walking away+Putting the toy away 4.Termination
Strip 1 Theme 1: Making a flower out of blocks- 44 sec Jasmine (J) is holding a block flower. J “flower”. J initiates, picking up, naming, showing (4) Kelly (K) “Does it smell pretty?” J smells the flower. K “Can I smell? Can I smell?” J offers her mom the flower. K smells it (sniff sniff) and says “himmmm, beautiful” K “nam nam nam nam” (she has blocks in her hand), J put the flower on the floor. K participate (16), J attendance (15) single scheme representational self and other (5a,5b) K “These are really fun. Mommy likes these. You like these blocks?” K is putting the blocks together and making a stick. J giggles. Kelly giggles too. K “inaudible…fun blocks”. She puts the blocks on the floor. She has a flower shape block on top of the stick. K command (14) demonstration (8), J observe(17), K and J giggle (19) combinational play (6) J picks it up says “flower” K repeats “flower” J instruct (1), K attend (15) J is looking at the other toys. K “what else do you want to play with?”. J&K terminate. K asking a general question (8), J picking up, naming, showing (4)
Results: Mothers` teaching Vocabulary is definetely an issue. Moms’ questioning follows the route: What is it? What kind of...? Do you eat fish,what kind? Mothers provide info on different types of objects or animals. They make descriptions and explanations. When child describe the construct in a general term, mother specify it. For children, content, familiarity, interest and knowledge on vocabulary are important. Child is responsive answering color questions when she knows the colors but not vehicles
Results: Mothers` playing Pretend but limited. Enlargement/widening of themes: No storyline or adding new toys to make the theme richer Character creating/adding Decontextualization (time/space) Organization and distributing the roles.
Results Consistency, Harmony, and Variety Zone of confidence and comfort Cues during play and background information
….For example, two children who are playing outside develop a game of chase. One child has a stick and is running, encouraging another child to join in. The child who has the stick has control over the game and keeps changing his pace to keep the other child engaged and to make him think he has a chance of catching him and retrieving the stick. As the first child starts to get tired (or get bored), he changes the game so that the stick becomes unimportant and the two boys go off and play with the push carts…., to change the game before the other boy lost complete interest and went to play with someone else. (Canning, 2007) (italics added)
Do not offer shark figures to children to play!
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