Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Children’s communities of mixed-ages

Teszenyi, E. (2018) Children’s communities of mixed-ages. In: Sykes, G. and Teszenyi, E. (eds.) Young Children and Their Communities: Understanding Collective Social Responsibility. Abingdon: Routledge.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: Children in all cultures and communities learn from one another through relationships with a variety of ages. The age-stratified culture of education is the product of the economic and industrial revolution when education was made accessible to the masses, with a persistent pressure from political ideologies and professional inertia (a reluctance to change) over the last century. This factory model of batch processing (Gerver, 2010) is founded on the assumption that all children develop at the same rate, they all have the same needs and can be taught the same thing at the same time. This, we know, could not be further from the truth. Typically, even the youngest of children in out of home care settings (particularly in day nurseries) are grouped according to their ages denying access to other-aged children and the valuable opportunities mixed-age learning would offer. This chapter: • considers the origins of mixed-age grouping, its theoretical underpinning and worldwide examples today • examines the role of mixed-age interactions in families and neighbourhood communities • considers mixed-age grouping as developmentally appropriate practice with young children in out of home care settings • explores the practical implications of establishing mixed-age communities of learners. The chapter will conclude with the idea that although mixed-age groups for young children are much debated, they are common in early years settings around the world. They are typically adopted for two reasons: either out of demographic and economic necessity or as a result of pedagogical choice based on the belief that mixed-age groups are superior to same-age ones in supporting, for example, children’s social development and their sense of community within the earliest years of their lives.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767 Children. Child development
Creators: Teszenyi, Eleonora
Editors: Sykes, Gillian and Teszenyi, Eleonora
Publisher: Routledge
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > Early Years
Date: 5 June 2018
Date Type: Publication
Title of Book: Young Children and Their Communities: Understanding Collective Social Responsibility
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Number of Pages: 144
Language: English
ISBN: 9781138558526
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: No
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