Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Emotional processing

Once upon a time in Nelson I observed a child, in his last couple of weeks before leaving Playcentre for school, mixing sand and water to make floods for dolls-house people (in which they died). His transformation schema worked on a multitude of levels: a physical transformation, a story about transformation of a landscape and death (the biggest transformation of all), all part of the transformation to school-child.

Hazel (a notably clingy child) has just started school. She's doing a lot of disconnecting. She's been cutting her bedding, Sean's sock, her teddy's fur and Iris's bed base, she's been drawing smiles on pieces of paper and cutting them out for us as presents. She's picking things apart, dismembering dolls, crumbling food, and pulling things to pieces. I'm not sure what the content of her stories is, I'm rather worn out with dealing with the physical disconnections. I'm very interested that it's disconnecting that she's doing as she disconnects from us in order to connect to school when trajectory has long been her dominant schema.

And I'm wondering, can you remember other children's schemas at the start of school or during other major life events and were they an abstraction on such a high level of the way they were experiencing the world?

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Blogger Stephanie said...

I was wondering, do you have any entry level texts on schema theory? It sounds kinda interesting, and you've talked about it several times.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

I could tell you one day. I don't know what I've got myself. This is quite good:

Tina Bruce Early Childhood Education, Hodder and Stoughton 1997

3:34 PM  
Blogger RUTH said...

You should give us a link to that summary matrix you did :-)

8:00 PM  
Blogger RUTH said...

I'm transporting a lot at moment. My handbag is full of things that go everywhere I do.

8:03 PM  
Blogger mrsdebus said...

The schema theory is *very* interesting...my daughter (4) is veyr obviously enclosure...my son, harder to pick, though most liekly connecting (but he is 8- I would ahve to remember what he was like when small). I am thinking from this post, how wonderful it would be for your daughter if you were with her full-time...as in, living without school. :0)Shell

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(a.k.a. Susan Harper)

A book about this stuff:

Cath Arnold, Understanding Schemas and Emotion in Early Childhood, Sage Publications Ltd (February 11, 2010).

According to Amazon.com it "makes explicit connections between young children’s spontaneous repeated actions and their representations of their emotional worlds. Drawing on the literature on schemas, attachment theory and family contexts, the author takes schema theory into the territory of the emotions, making it relevant to the social and emotional development strand in early childhood education."

Arnold references Thinking Children: Learning about Schemas in which Anne Meade and Pam Cubey quoted this post but I doubt she read it early or carefully enough to have got the idea here. Taking schema theory into the world of the emotions is something that so many small children do that I am surprised it hasn't been studied more carefully by more people.

8:23 PM  

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