Title

Peer Influences on Occupational Engagment in the Infant and Toddler Classroom

Presenter Information

Ruth Humphry

Start Time

29-10-2004 2:30 PM

End Time

29-10-2004 4:00 PM

Abstract

Meaning is thought to influence choice among alternative activities and how an occupation is performed. Since the self-organizing process of engagement and purpose of doing an activity are mechanisms bringing about systematic changes a greater understanding of children's experiences of interest, value and social significance in the things they do is important for understanding development of occupation. Although adults create the sociocultural niches where children engage in their daily activities, adults are not the only source for learning about or socially sharing in occupational meaning. Peers' activities include value-rich information that children observe, reflect on, interpret and incorporate into their definitions of situations related to their own occupations. Furthermore, through imitation and social interactions children who spend sustained time together create their own network of shared meaning about familiar activities, in some ways creating for a period their own subculture.

This study is part of a research program designed to understand the ways children take on the societal knowledge of how to use objects, carry out daily activities in an expected manner, and appreciate meaning in what they do. The paper explores how infants and toddlers in their childcare classroom contribute to the development of one another's occupations by enriching each other's experiences of meaning. Data for this paper come from 6 months of weekly observations of infants who were between 7 and 13 months old when their parents enrolled them in the stud y. Written records of their social behaviors and play when an adult was not directing their activities are analyzed, using a strategy similar to the one pioneered by Spitzer. The study first examines social dynamics and how young children construct meaning about an activity. Next, it considers how altered experiences of meaning potentially changes what children choose to do and how their occupations are performed.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 29th, 2:30 PM Oct 29th, 4:00 PM

Peer Influences on Occupational Engagment in the Infant and Toddler Classroom

Meaning is thought to influence choice among alternative activities and how an occupation is performed. Since the self-organizing process of engagement and purpose of doing an activity are mechanisms bringing about systematic changes a greater understanding of children's experiences of interest, value and social significance in the things they do is important for understanding development of occupation. Although adults create the sociocultural niches where children engage in their daily activities, adults are not the only source for learning about or socially sharing in occupational meaning. Peers' activities include value-rich information that children observe, reflect on, interpret and incorporate into their definitions of situations related to their own occupations. Furthermore, through imitation and social interactions children who spend sustained time together create their own network of shared meaning about familiar activities, in some ways creating for a period their own subculture.

This study is part of a research program designed to understand the ways children take on the societal knowledge of how to use objects, carry out daily activities in an expected manner, and appreciate meaning in what they do. The paper explores how infants and toddlers in their childcare classroom contribute to the development of one another's occupations by enriching each other's experiences of meaning. Data for this paper come from 6 months of weekly observations of infants who were between 7 and 13 months old when their parents enrolled them in the stud y. Written records of their social behaviors and play when an adult was not directing their activities are analyzed, using a strategy similar to the one pioneered by Spitzer. The study first examines social dynamics and how young children construct meaning about an activity. Next, it considers how altered experiences of meaning potentially changes what children choose to do and how their occupations are performed.