The birthday cake: Social relations and professional practices around mealtimes with toddlers and child care

Johansson, Eva & Berthelsen, Donna (2014) The birthday cake: Social relations and professional practices around mealtimes with toddlers and child care. In Harrison, Linda & Sumison, Jennifer (Eds.) Lived Spaces of Infant-Toddler Education and Care - Exploring Diverse Perspectives on Theory, Research and Practice. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 75-88.

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Events that involve food and eating are important parts of the daily routine in which adults and children participate in child care settings. These events can be viewed as cultural practices because they involve certain everyday ways of acting, thinking or feeling (Grusec JE et al, Child Dev 71(1): 205–211, 2000). The cultural practices around food and eating symbolise and guide the social relations, emotions, social structures and behaviours of the participants. Identities and roles for the participants are created in these practices, marked by ambiguity, movement and fluidity through ongoing processes of negotiation (Punch S et al, Child Geogr 8(3): 227–232, 2010). The formal professional systems that guide these practices in early education and care programs often focus on the nutritional value of the food, while the children and teachers involved in these mealtime events account for the intersubjective experiences. Mealtimes provide opportunities for children and teachers to interact and co-construct meaning around the situations that arise. Of special interest in this research are teachers’ and children’s intentions for communication in the context of events involving food and eating and the kind of learning embedded in the communications that occur. Throughout this chapter, these events are referred to as mealtimes. This study is informed by phenomenological theory which aims to reach understandings about interactions and their meaning from the perspective of the participating individuals.

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ID Code: 82716
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9789401788373
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2015 00:24
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2016 14:47

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