Understanding Schemas and Emotion in Early Childhood makes explicit connections between young childrens spontaneous repeated actions and their representations of their emotional worlds. Drawing on the literature on schemas, attachment theory and family contexts, the author takes schema theory into the territory of the emotions, making it relevant to the social and emotional development strand in early childhood education.

Based on research carried out alongside children, parents, workers and co-researchers at the world-famous Pen Green Nursery, and using case studies of a small number of individual children, the author shows new links between cognition and affect. The book includes a brief summary of a method of Child Study, using video and reflections on video sequences.

This book will be of interest to students and practitioners on Early Childhood undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as those taking modules on schema theory.

The inside Story: An Early Years Practitioner Studying Children's Emotions

The inside story: An early years practitioner studying children's emotions

It is one's inner experiences that permit gaining a full grasp of what is involved in the inner experiences of others, a knowledge which can then become the basis for theoretical studies. (Bettelheim, 1956/1990, p. 38)

This chapter introduces:

  • The emotional experience of studying the relational experiences of young children
  • ‘Containment’ experienced through discussions with colleagues
  • Reflecting through keeping a learning journal
  • Two themes around my responses to emotions

Introduction and Context

When I embarked on a study of young children's emotions, I was warned that it would be emotionally challenging and painful. At one level, I understood that, as a mature worker with a grown up family, the material might put me ...

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