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Pedagogical dialogues with 2 year olds in “preschool” settings: What do they look like?

E. J. White, B. Redder, S. Bennett, B. De Manser, C. Geddes, and C. Hjorth

This article reports on a project midway through a 2-year investigation of the pedagogical interactions that take place for 2 year olds in mixed-age early childhood education (ECE) settings. Teachers slowed down and scrutinised their practice by videoing, analysing, and theorising their dialogue with and about 2 year olds as a central form of teaching and learning. The primary aim of the project was to make explicit the nature of 2 year olds’ dialogue in ECE settings traditionally oriented to 3 to 4 year olds. Fine-tuned coding of dialogue and their interpreted meanings by the teachers highlight the impact of different events in the ECE setting on the nature of dialogue that takes place and identified 12 different genre in which 2 year olds were found to engage (or disengage). The insights generated from this project support teachers to re-vision their pedagogy in ways that are inclusive of the specialised genre of this younger age group, and celebrate the many pedagogical provocations for dialogue in preschool settings.

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