Observations of children in their interplay with one another have pointed to the significance of children's participation in social communities. This article presents a theoretical discussion of how to conceptualize the social conditions for the learning and development of children. The background is that dualistic understandings of human development still seem to complicate the conceptualization as well as the practical support of children's participation in social communities. Going beyond these dualisms implies reflecting on the dialectical interplay between a child and its social conditions, and this points to working with the concept of participation and to comprehend social structures not just as something to be ‘internalised' or as restrictions for the individual displaying, but as resources for acting as well. Social conditions appear as concrete relevant persons - playmates as well as parents and professionals - and the article focuses on what these persons create together and how they in their social interplay structure the possibilities of each other. The theoretical contributions will be built up from empirical examples of children's interplay and from a conceptual framework of a situated and subject-orientated interpretation of ‘critical psychology'.
Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 2008, Vol 15, Issue 1, p. 1-12
børns udvikling; udviklingsbegrebet; fællesskaber; sociale betingelser; sociale strukturer; udvikling gennem deltagelse i social praksis; Children’s development; communities of children; social conditions; social structures; development through participation in social practice