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Educators’ pedagogical awareness and positioning in toddlers’ play

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
3:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (40 minutes)
The research reported here is part of a larger project which studies babies-toddlers’ cultural world and transitory relationships. The research question of this presentation relates to how an educator engages in toddlers’ play. This presentation particularly draws upon the concepts of Vygotsky’s (1966) play and Fleer’s (2015) pedagogical positioning to explore how an educator places himself while he plays with a small group of toddlers and how the educator supports their imagination and learning. Visual narrative methodology and reflective interviews have been applied to analyse one play episode. This play episode includes one male educator (Juan) and a small group of toddlers including the focus child Luci, in a long day care centre in Australia. This example showcases the educator and toddlers collectively engaging in what we have called “Noisy Neighbours” play. This paper foregrounds a wholeness approach in its analysis of toddler’s everyday life that is evidenced in their imaginary situation within play context and explores the educator’s pedagogical positioning in toddlers’ play and his professional awareness of young children’s everyday life. This paper highlights the importance of educators taking an active role in toddlers’ play through supporting collective imagination to achieve collective knowledge construction. The findings have implications such as the need for the educator to be an active player in dramatising the flow of the play event and inviting toddlers to enter the play and extend the play narrative. Furthermore, this presentation shows educators need to be aware of toddlers’ everyday family and community knowledge. This led us to think about how families are influenced by child-led parenting. 
Monash University
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