The 'space' of friendship: young children's understandings and expressions of friendship in a reception class

Journal article


Papadopoulou, M. 2016. The 'space' of friendship: young children's understandings and expressions of friendship in a reception class. Early Child Development and Care. 186 (10), pp. 1544-1558. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1111879
AuthorsPapadopoulou, M.
Abstract

The purpose of this study has been to explore young children's understandings and experiences of friendship as these manifested in children's behaviours, in a reception class setting. Drawing on an evolutionary, ecological framework, friendship is seen as not only the expression and further development of social understandings and cognitive advances; more than that, making and maintaining friends is seen as an evolutionary trait and a ‘drive’ to relate to similarly minded others. Through ‘niche picking’, children select the environments and opportunities that suit them in order to develop their dispositions and individual traits. The research employed a participatory design in order to capture the children's views and experiences. It took place in a reception class setting, where children's everyday experiences were observed and discussed with them. The study identified six themes of analysis and offered some suggestions about creating enabling educational environments that allow the ‘space’ for niche construction.

KeywordsChildren's friendships, Intentionalities, Niche construction, Niche picking, Participatory research, Social understanding.
Year2016
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Journal citation186 (10), pp. 1544-1558
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0300-4430
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1111879
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1111879
Publication dates
Online19 Dec 2015
PrintOct 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2016
Accepted20 Oct 2015
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87y01/the-space-of-friendship-young-children-s-understandings-and-expressions-of-friendship-in-a-reception-class

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