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Exploring the social connections in preschool settings between children
labelled with special educational needs and their peers

Parry, John (2015). Exploring the social connections in preschool settings between children
labelled with special educational needs and their peers.
International Journal of Early Years Education, 23(4) pp. 352–364.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2015.1046158
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Abstract

This paper reports on a small-scale study of the social interactions between six children labelled with special educational needs and their peers in their respective early years settings. Data from play observations, photographs and staff interviews is used to examine the dynamics of the connections that they make with other children. The position of these six children as active agents in making decisions about their peer interactions is highlighted and the ways that this agency is expressed is analysed. By focusing on the personal strategies that the children use to make social connections the findings contribute to the developing understanding of children’s relationships within inclusive early years settings. In particular compatible play interests and personalities are identified as significant factors that attract children to one another in this case study. It also emerged that recurrent playmates did not feature consistently in the social exchanges involving this group of children. This factor is considered in the context of it being indicative of the social connections that children labelled with special educational needs pursue. Suggestions for further investigation are proposed and key practice messages offered around developing awareness and facilitation of social connections between children.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1469-8463
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetRTR Foundation
Not SetNot SetBaily Thomas Charitable fund
Keywords: special educational needs; early years; friendships; social interaction; child agency
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
Item ID: 47755
Depositing User: John Parry
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 11:46
Last Modified: 17 May 2017 03:53
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/47755
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