Joint attention in infant-toddler early childhood programs

its dynamics and potential for collaborative learning

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This article examines how joint attention episodes constitute a core feature of relational pedagogy for infants and toddlers. It draws on social interactionist approaches to language and cognitive development to propose that joint attention may afford significant current and future potential for young children’s learning. However, most joint attention research has taken place within experimental settings, so current definitions of joint attention do not take into account the dynamic group-based nature of the infant-toddler room. In this article, the author presents findings from a study of the language environment of infant-toddler rooms to examine the characteristics of joint attention episodes as they naturally occurred in infant-toddler programs. The author illustrates how qualitatively different episodes of educator–infant joint attention support both language and cognitive development. In doing so, she proposes a theoretical model to represent the learning potential of these shared experiences with the aim of enhancing current understandings of what it means to learn collaboratively in infant-toddler group settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)409-421
    Number of pages13
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017


    • collaborative learning
    • early childhood education
    • infants
    • joint attention
    • sustained shared thinking
    • teacher–child interactions

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