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A funds of knowledge approach to examining play interests: Listening to children's and parents' perspectives

Children's interests are widely recognised as pivotal to meaningful learning and play in the early years. However, less is known about how children's diverse interests may contribute to relationships and interactions within peer cultures. This article builds upon previous studies to argue that participation in sociocultural activity generates interests informed by funds of knowledge that children reconstruct in their play. It reports findings from an interpretive study that used filmed footage of children's play as a provocation to explore the perspectives of children, parents and teachers. The article presents original insights regarding some ways in which mutually constituted funds of knowledge afford opportunities for children to co-construct meaning. The findings also indicate that interests arising from diverse funds of knowledge may contribute to the interplay of power, agency and status within peer cultures. This raises some issues regarding how matters of inclusion and exclusion are understood and responded to within early years settings. The article recommends that teachers and researchers engage critically with children's individual and collective funds of knowledge in order to better understand the complexities of play cultures. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United Kingdom; England

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