Kommunikativa resurser för lärande: Barns gester, blickar och tal i tre skolmiljöer.

Heikkilä, M.
Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet.


The main objective of this study is to examine how kindergarten, pre-school class and the first year at school serve to establish preconditions for learning.   The study highlights differences and similarities between the various institutional environments and analyses social activities amongst 5, 6 and 7 year olds in the three types of institution. The analysis focuses on identifying the types of communication taking place and how these are utilised. The aim of the analysis is to show how the child participates in social activities and how participation is created and made accessible to the child in the three institutional environments. The research questions are: How does an analysis of multimodal communication illustrate differences and similarities in the three institutional environments and their preconditions for learning? How do children participate in different social activities through utilisation of modes of communication such as facial expression, gesticulation and speech?  What communication patterns arise?


The analyses show that children use different modes of communication in order to take part in activities, and that these depend on the type of activity the child is facing and the physical space in which the child is situated. Furthermore, the analysis of the modes of communication shows that targeted, adult-initiated activities give rise to specific types of communication which are often oriented towards individual participation. Modes of communication tend to be more regulated in the transition from kindergarten to school, meaning that they involve less bodily movement or gesticulation. The analyses show that participant positioning such as individual or group participation is rarely an either-or position. The child shifts between participant positions and this can mean that the child is continually negotiating participation. Analyses of the space show how, in the transition from kindergarten to school, the child has less accessible space. At kindergarten the child can play alone, free and separate from other children, while at school the child is separated from the other children in the space and focuses on the individual situation.


Data collection comprises 100 hours of video observation of 5-7 year olds at a kindergarten, a pre-school class and a first-year class from 2000 to 2003.


Heikkilä, M. (2006). Kommunikativa resurser för lärande: Barns gester, blickar och tal i tre skolmiljöer. Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet.

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