ABS069 - Children's explorations in conflicts in play - a question about inclusion and exclusion processes

2.3 The social construction of [dis]ability and difference/homogeneity
11:40 AM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Midday Meal   12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Conflicts in children’s play are usual events in kindergartens. Conflicts occur when people have different motives or aims for their acts and usually involve disagreements, resistance and protests. In research about children and conflicts, focus often is on how they learn to negotiate and develop their social competence. The aim of this presentation is to investigate how conflicts can be understood as children’s exploring of inclusion and exclusion processes. The question is: ‘In what ways are children’s negotiations in conflicts in play an exploring of including and excluding processes ?’
Cultural-historical perspectives give possibilities to look at conflicts in play at different plans. The institutional practices constitute conditions for the children’s activities and relations in play settings. Children also interpret and explore values, and demands from the institution and the society in a re-constructive way. Biesta’s understanding of democracy as an ongoing process of inclusion and exclusion inside the group is relevant.
The data is a qualitative research from four kindergartens. Written narratives from staff, the researcher’s observations and interview with staff about children’s conflicts in play, are analyzed. The analysis reveals that negotiations vary for involved children in different conflicts and contribute to various experiences with power, roles and positions. Conflicts also cause intern excluding processes, where some children over time seem to lose possibilities to negotiate in an equal way. Free play is an important value, and there is an institutional claim to let children learn to resolve conflicts themselves. Thus staff is in danger for not detecting what is really going on in conflicts in play.
Western Norway University of Applied Science
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