Collaboration is often described as a situation whereby two or more children work together towards a common goal. When viewed from a socio-cultural learning perspective, a broader understanding of collaboration is suggested. This article investigates the forms and pathways of children’s collaboration and how the institutional demands influence children’s collaborative encounters. The study is based on video recordings of paedagogical activities (workshops and circle times) in two Danish pre-schools over a period of 11 months. Although institutional demands challenge children’s initiatives, it is found that children build friendships, assist, inspire, and imitate one another in their collaborative encounters in paedagogical activities. In order to better support children’s learning and engaged participation in paedagogical activities, an increased attention to the institutional demands on children’s collaborative encounters in early childhood education is suggested.
Early Child Development and Care, 2013, Vol 183, Issue 9, p. 1242-1257