Parents’ pedagogical roles in children’s imaginative play: A cultural historical analysis across diverse cultural contexts

2.4 Cross-national explorations of sociocultural research on learning
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
10:51 AM, Friday 1 Sep 2017 (27 minutes)
According to Vygotsky (1998), the child's individual developmental trajectory depends on social contexts that the child actively participates in and interacts with. Family is the first social institution where the child has a strong social relation with others from birth. A large number of studies indicate that parents make a significant contribution to children’s conceptual learning through play, whereas very few studies are informed by the parental perspectives and their role in children’s imaginative play in terms of diverse cultural practices. This study investigates how parents’ diverse cultural practices influence their pedagogical role in imaginative play to support preschoolers’ conceptual learning. Four focus children (4-5 years old) of middle-class Indian families participated in this case study. A total 81 hours of data were collected through video and semi-structured interviewing over a period of 8 weeks. Vygotsky’s notion of the “social situation of development” (1998) and Kravtsov and Kravtsova’s (2010) conception of “dual subjectivity” have been used as analytical tools. The finding from the data sets shows that parents pedagogical roles in children’s imaginative play and their different beliefs about imaginative play are influenced by families’ diverse cultural practices, which provide varied social situations of developmental trajectory for the children. The paper argues that to understand children’s learning and development in diverse settings, one needs to consider parents’ pedagogical practices in family cultural contexts. The finding of this paper makes a contribution to early childhood scholarship and practice, showing a new dimension of cultural family practices that associated with parental support of children’s learning and development through imaginative play. 
Monash University