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Small science learning at infants-toddlers age: Conscious communication between parents and children through small science moment as part of family culture

2.4 Cross-national explorations of sociocultural research on learning
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
9:30 AM, Friday 1 Sep 2017 (27 minutes)
Children’s learning begins from birth and occurs as part of family cultural practices (Vygotsky, 1987). Göncü & Gauvain (2012) argued that children’s learning and development occur in historically situated activities where the activities are mediated through intersubjective experiences of children’s culture in which they take part with other people in their communities. Vygotsky (1987) also argued that everyday concepts support children to develop scientific concepts in everyday settings. However, the research focus has not yet examined how infants-toddlers everyday learning supports children to develop scientific understandings as part of their everyday family culture. This study investigated how the family culture shapes infants-toddlers’ learning of small science concepts in everyday contexts. In this paper, a whole range of family practices (about 12 hours of video data) of one Bangladeshi child’s (30-36 months) everyday life has been gathered and analysed. The dialectical relation between small science and everyday activities (Sikder and Fleer, 2015) has been used as an analytical framework. The concept ‘Intersubjective experiences’ (Göncü & Gauvain, 2012) is also used as an analytical tool to understand the child’s scientific learning in family culture. It is argued that conscious communication between parents and children through small science moments could influence the dialectical relations between everyday concepts and scientific concepts. The findings indicate that the established family culture could support infants-toddlers for shaping their understanding of small science concepts, such as, push/pull/roll/spin as part of the scientific concept of Force, life cycle of a butterfly as part of understanding insect’s life cycle, where shared understandings and conscious communication between parents and children are observed. 
Charles Sturt University
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