Goouch, K. and Powell, S. (2015) Epilogue. In: David, T., Goouch, K. and Powell, S., eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. Abingdon,UK: Routledge. pp. 327-330 ISBN 9781138022812

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We would like to take advantage of the last pages of this book to make some general points.

It seems that through childhood, from birth, babies and children are collecting and developing personal stories and private theories about how the world works, and especially how it works for them. For example, from the very earliest time of life babies are learning about the physical world around them and the psychological world of human encounters, developing a ‘road map’ through experiences: ‘a constant interweaving between largely unconscious processes of learning and the detailed texture of our conscious experience’ (Gopnik 2009:163). Part of this textured mapping of experiences includes the development of theories about language as babies listen intently to the sounds around them, storing, categorizing, imitating and responding, gathering evidence to support or challenge these emerging theoretical understandings of what it is to be human, what makes up our world and who inhabits it, who speaks and how, who listens and why. And these early understandings, or beliefs, enriched by imaginings, storying and narrations, form substantial elements of the way we then view the world as adults. However, a critical ingredient in this individual trajectory is the human need for ‘others’ who will not only provide physical nourishment and nurturance but will also support growth and development by mediating experiences, creating connections and providing an affective landscape throughout the period of childhood. Siegal’s argument that children’s knowledge ‘needs to be drawn out and enriched through early conversational experience’ (Siegal 2008:175) prepares the ground for thinking about not only how we can help children form theories to help them understand the world but also for thinking about how as adults we can develop our theoretical understanding of children’s worlds....

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Professor Sacha Powell
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 15:46
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 15:46
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14126

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00