Movement, meaning and affect: the stuff childhood literacies are made of

DANIELS, Karen Diane (2018). Movement, meaning and affect: the stuff childhood literacies are made of. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Daniels_2018_EdD_MovementMeaningAffect.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (4MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


This thesis emanates from an ethnographically informed study involving a close examination of the multiple ways that meaning making emerges in children’s ongoing, self-initiated activity. I adopt a poststructuralist frame which provides conceptual tools of emergence, movement and affect and pay attention to activity that spontaneously arose across children. I present a detailed description of the significance of movement in young children’s meaning making that involves the re-shaping, re-imagining and repurposing of materials and classroom areas. Movements are seen as integral to children’s symbolic meaning making and the kinds of practices that emerge. I make four contributions to knowledge through presenting new insights into movement during the process of meaning making in one Early Years settings as follows. I have shown the way children’s interest played out in their movement and identified three prevalent interest/ movement formations. I have underlined the importance of movement by illustrating the ways in which movement is deeply implicated within material arrangements of the classroom. I have suggested that the quality or dynamics of movement are related to affective atmospheres. Through juxtaposing movement, materials and classrooms, I have generated a conceptual framework for analysing the way in which agency is distributed across children’s moving bodies, the classroom, and its materials. My account of children’s activity has implications for the way that teachers might work to:  see literacy as a collective endeavour deeply implicated with available materials  be open to diverse pathways to literacy learning  acknowledge literacy development as a non-linear trajectory  take account of children’s spontaneous exploratory movement in classrooms  take account of the way that movement contributes to the affective atmospheres in classrooms  offer children opportunity for spontaneous exploration of meanings, real and imagined, so allowing diverse child-generated sites for participation  forge broader understanding of the relationship between literacy and play

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Burnett, Cathy [0000-0001-6087-244X]
Additional Information: Director of Studies : Professor Cathy Burnett
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 13:39
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics