Reminiscing and future talk conversations in early childhood long daycare centres

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract


    The aim of this study is to examine the contribution of early childhood educators to children's autobiographical memory through talk about past and future shared events. Contemporary research into children's autobiographical memory has investigated the role of parents, predominantly mothers, in scaffolding children's emerging memory, cognitive and language skills (Fivush, Haden & Reese, 2006). Our study considered the role of educators because even though educator conversation is a quality indicator and is emphasised in training programmes, nothing is known about how educator-child conversations contribute to children's memory of events in their lives. Autobiographical memory research draws upon post-Vygotskian theories that claim a child's linguistic and conversational skills develop via conversations with familiar adults that subsequently facilitate the child's ability to compose an organised memory or prospective narrative (Nelson & Fivush, 2004). Twenty-one educators were recruited and each paired with ≤6 younger (27-36 months) or older (48-60 months) children (n=85) who were regularly in their care. At separate time points educator-child dyads discussed novel/familiar past and future events. Conversations were coded for elaborative style, temporal and mental state references. All participants were asked for consent and allowed to withdraw from the study without prejudice. Participants' identity and data has been confidentially maintained. Educator elaboration and use of temporal terms differed by temporal (past/future) focus, whereas educators' use of mental state language varied significantly depending upon event novelty (novel/familiar). Educator elaboration varied significantly depending upon qualifications. This study will inform educator talk best practice and instigates new ways of evaluating educator-child conversations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication27th EECERA annual conference: ‘social justice, solidarity and children's rights’
    Subtitle of host publicationabstract book
    PublisherEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventEECERA annual conference (27th : 2017) - Bologna, Italy
    Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sep 2017


    ConferenceEECERA annual conference (27th : 2017)


    • autobiographical memory
    • elaboration
    • reminiscing
    • future talk


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