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.

Caitlin: Containing, Enveloping and Transporting

Caitlin: Containing, enveloping and transporting

This chapter introduces:

  • Caitlin and her family
  • Observations of Caitlin exploring a cluster of schemas when her well-being was high
  • Observations showing how Caitlin used the same cluster of schemas when her security was under threat

Introduction and Context

Caitlin was 2 years 5 months and 20 days when I first observed her for this study. She was in her first year at nursery and was attending four afternoons a week. During her second year at nursery, she attended four full days a week.

Caitlin has an older brother Robert, who has additional needs. He displays some fairly difficult behaviours, such as putting himself in danger by going onto the road when cars are coming. At the beginning of the study period, ...

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