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'I told you so': Justification used in disputes in young children's interactions in an early childhood classroom

Cobb-Moore, Charlotte, Danby, Susan J., & Farrell, Ann M. (2008) 'I told you so': Justification used in disputes in young children's interactions in an early childhood classroom. Discourse Studies, 10(5), pp. 591-610.

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Abstract

While justifications are frequently used by young children in their everyday interactions, their use has not been examined to any great extent. This article examines the interactional phenomenon of justification used by young children in their everyday interactions as they work to manage social organization of their peer group in an early childhood classroom. The methodological approaches of conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis were used to analyse video-recorded and transcribed interactions of young children (aged 4–6 years) in a preparatory classroom in a primary school in Australia. The focus is an episode that occurred within the play area of the classroom and involved a dispute of ownership relating to a small, wooden plank. In analysing this dispute, justifications used by the children were frequent occurrences and the young participants drew upon justificatory devices to support their stances. The justifications related to the concepts of ownership and were used as devices by those engaged in the particular dispute to support their positions and provide reasons for their actions. Four types of justificatory responses are highlighted. These involved using certain child-constructed rules to justify, including justification based on the rule of transferred ownership; the rule of first possession; rules associated with custodianship; and the rule of third-party verification. The justifications are practices that work to build and reinforce individual children’s status within the group that, in turn, contributes to the social order of the classroom.

Impact and interest:

11 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 14833
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: disputes, early childhood classroom, interaction, justification, social order, young children
DOI: 10.1177/1461445608094214
ISSN: 1461-7080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900) > Education not elsewhere classified (139999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Sage Publications
Copyright Statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Discourse Studies 10(5):pp. 591-610, 2008 © SAGE Publications Ltd by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Discourse Studies page: http://dis.sagepub.com
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:51

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