Children in interaction: a conversational analysis of children's play

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The present inquiry provides a conversational analysis of the organizational structure of two classroom events. These events are dramatic play and its recreation through a teacher-led discussion. The data, video recordings and transcripts, were collected in an Early Childhood Services classroom. E.C.S. is the provincially funded educational program for five-year old children in Alberta. Our analysis provides an empirical documentation of the design specifics by which the classroom events of interest are constituted. Specifically, in the dramatic play sequences, we have detailed the conversational means by which identity, thematic structure and conflict are assembled. In the teacher-led discussion, seen as evaluative in intent, our focus has been formulation and trouble sources and repair. Conceptually, we are guided by a metaphorical rendition of play as text and context. Our metaphor enables an explication of the levels of meaning created as the classroom events are transposed into textual accounts. The metaphor is consistent with our theoretical orientation. Ethnomethodology postulates a social world which is an ongoing creation of its participants, in our case, young children and their teacher. The social world, as a processual construct, is subject to further interpre­tive accounts. Our empirically based account generates an interpretive understanding of the 'meaning realm' constituted through the interaction of members. The interpretive account necessitates a conceptual exploration of the major constructs of our study, play and its evaluation. As well, interpretation is framed as a 'reflection-in-practice' (Schön, 1982). The study concludes with a reflective dialogue whereby the interpretive account based in our empirical analysis yields implications for teachers and for future research.
Bibliography: p. 330-339.
Ditchburn, S. J. (1985). Children in interaction: a conversational analysis of children's play (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/15846