Infant and teacher dialogue in education and care: A pedagogical imperative

White, E, Peter, M and Redder, B 2015, 'Infant and teacher dialogue in education and care: A pedagogical imperative', Early Childhood Research Quarterly, vol. 30, no. PA, pp. 160-173.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Infant and teacher dialogue in education and care: A pedagogical imperative
Author(s) White, E
Peter, M
Redder, B
Year 2015
Journal name Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume number 30
Issue number PA
Start page 160
End page 173
Total pages 14
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Abstract © 2014 The Authors. This exploratory study investigated the nature of teacher-infant social dialogue in a high-quality education and care centre in New Zealand. Employing dialogic methodology (Bakhtin, 1986), interactions between infants and teachers were analysed in terms of the language forms used in the social event. Polyphonic video footage of two infants' social experiences and subsequent teacher interviews were coded to identify forms of language that occurred in dialogues and their interpreted pedagogical significance to teachers. The results revealed four central features of teacher-infant social exchange: (i) infants were more likely to respond to teachers interaction initiations when teachers used verbal and non-verbal language form combinations; (ii) when initiations were verbal and non-verbal combinations, both teachers' and infants' responses were significantly more likely to be also combinations of verbal and non-verbal language forms; (iii) both infants and teachers altered their responses to the language forms used by the initiator regardless of whether that was an infant or a teacher; and (iv) when teachers did not respond, they had a pedagogical rationale. Results highlight the multi-voiced and synchronous nature of teacher-infant interactions, the complex nature of communication in a formal out-of-home setting, and the pedagogical nature of teacher dialogue with infants.
Subject Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
Keyword(s) Dialogism
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.ecresq.2014.10.008
Copyright notice © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
ISSN 0885-2006
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