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Children and objects: affection and infection

Jones, Liz and MacLure, Maggie and Holmes, Rachel and MacRae, Christina (2011) Children and objects: affection and infection. Early years: an international research journal, 32 (1). pp. 49-60. ISSN 1472-4421

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Abstract

This paper considers young children’s (aged 3–5 years) relations with objects, and in particular objects that are brought from home to school. We begin by considering the place of objects within early years classrooms and their relationship to children’s education before considering why some objects are often separated from their owners on entry to the classroom. We suggest that the ‘arrest’ of objects is as a consequence of them being understood as ‘infecting’ specific perceptions or constructs of young children. We further suggest that a focus on the dichotomy between affection/infection for and of certain objects may offer new possibilities for seeing and engaging with children, thus expanding the narrow imaginaries of children that are coded in developmental psychology, UK early years education policy and classroom practice.

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