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ABS345 - Development of authoring and agency in early childhood through play - Board 31

3.3 Interventionist methodologies: bridging theory and practice
Part of:
11:00 AM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Framed in a cultural-historical theory, dialogic approach, and transformative activist stance, I reframe play as a process of authoring that fuels children’s passion for being agentive actors in the world and their own lives. This approach addresses how children position themselves in trying out different play roles in the world they themselves co-create with others.
This qualitative study was conducted in a naturalistic setting where dimensions of interaction, authoring processes, and positionality were observed and analyzed through an ethnographic lens focuses on authoring themes. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of the data: (1) initiating/setting intention in which children began a play scenario and showed the desire and intention to pursue a role; (2) negotiating/making decision in which children constructed boundaries and negotiated their stance and space with others, that is, how children began to differentiate self-other relationships; (3) acknowledging/showing attention in which children established a standpoint and position collaboratively yet from an individually unique stance; (4) claiming/exercising authority in which children showed an active dialogic understanding of a shared goal, and exercised authority by claiming a space or position.  The patterns of interaction among these four themes reveal the complex journey children take in the process of authoring their identity.
This study suggests that play creates the space of authoring in which children can exercise agency in co-creating their world and themselves, where they can re-experience and negotiate their possible selves within possible worlds in relation to others.
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
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