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Constructing activity: participation by adults and children


Learning and Instruction Volume 9, Number 1 ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This research investigates adult–child interactions during an open ended activity in a pre-school setting. The aim of the study is to explore the contribution of both the adult and the child in a naturally occurring activity which did not have a pre-defined end point. Adult–child dyads were observed and recorded during a Lego building activity in a playgroup in North London. The activity is interpreted in the context of the adults' intentions for the activity and in relation to the principles of the playgroup. The analysis focuses on the way in which the activity developed and was influenced by both participants. This revealed that the dyads' focus on physical construction with the Lego blocks was interspersed with conversations and other activities, introduced by the adults and also by the children. The children used a variety of devices to influence the direction and focus of the activity. It is argued that an important aspect of an open ended activity is the unfolding and development of the activity and that children not only play an active role in their own learning, they are also active partners in constructing the activity itself.


Ireson, J. & Blay, J. Constructing activity: participation by adults and children. Learning and Instruction, 9(1), 19-36. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved July 18, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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