Infants and emotional literacy: the first language

Nyland, B 2002, 'Infants and emotional literacy: the first language' in P. Kell (ed.) Ways of Learning: The Revolution in Teaching and Learning, Common Ground Publishing, Altona, Australia, pp. 125-132.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Infants and emotional literacy: the first language
Author(s) Nyland, B
Year 2002
Title of book Ways of Learning: The Revolution in Teaching and Learning
Publisher Common Ground Publishing
Place of publication Altona, Australia
Editor(s) P. Kell
Start page 125
End page 132
Subjects Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Summary Studies of infants and intersubjectivity has given insights into infant communication skills and infants' understanding of mind. Trevarthen (1992) discusses the infant's awareness of intentionality in others, which occurs at about nine months and can be equated with the beginnings of a theory of mind, but says if we include sensitivity to the emotions of others and the ability to communicate with a responsive other, then intersubjectivity can be observed to be present at birth. Children construct their knowledge of the culture as they learn language. They come to understand the community and their relationship to this community through interactions. This paper looks at the socially competent infant, whose first literacy and way of reading the world is emotional awareness. Development occurs within relationships that are reciprocal and if babies are to gain a positive sense of self from the cultural environment it is important that adults are sensitive to non-verbal communication. Much of the emotional literacy literature looks at social behaviours like self control, helping (picking up toys) and empathy (saying sorry?). It is argued that these behaviours may as easily be the result of compliance as of co-operation and therefore not be a useful measure of the child's affective development.
Copyright notice © 2002 Berenice Nyland
ISBN 1863350616
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