Building children’s sense of community in a day care centre through small groups in play
Koivula, M., & Hännikäinen, M. (2017). Building children’s sense of community in a day care centre through small groups in play. Early years: An International Journal of Research and Development, 37(2), 126-142. https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2016.1180590
© 2017 TACTYC. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This study examines the process through which children build a sense of community in small groups in a day care centre. The study asks the following: how does children’s sense of community develop, and what are its key features? Data were collected by applying ethnographic methods in a group of three- to five-year-old children over eleven months. The results show that children’s sense of community developed through three stages. In the first stage, it evolved gradually through experiences in joint play. In the second stage, stable friendships were formed and strengthened in play. In the third and final stage, sense of community was fully established and children’s emotional bonding was strong, manifesting itself in affective and physical closeness, sharing and caring and togetherness.