The teacher's lap – a site of emotional well-being for the younger children in day-care groups
Hännikäinen, M. (2015). The teacher's lap – a site of emotional well-being for the younger children in day-care groups. Early Child Development and Care, 185(5), 752-765. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2014.957690
Published inEarly Child Development and Care
© Taylor & Francis. This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This study focuses on a particular relationship between teachers and one- to three-year-old children: the child in the teacher’s lap. When, in what situations, does this happen? Who are the children in the teacher’s lap? Why are they there? How do children express emotional wellbeing when in the teacher’s lap? Relational, sociocultural and revised attachment approaches to emotional wellbeing supplied the theoretical framework of the study. Data were collected by ethnographic methods and analysed qualitatively. Two day-care groups in Finland participated. For most of the day at least one child was in a teacher’s lap. The teacher’s lap signified, e.g., consolation and confidence, but also delight. Further, for the children, it was a contested site for gaining teacher attention and displaying power. The teachers also enjoyed this affective bond with the children, while having a child in their lap also had practical value, e.g., sometimes it guaranteed undisturbed play for the other children. ...
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