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Title: The spontaneous grouping of six years olds.
Authors: Waddington, Mary.
Award date: 1967
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This study is an attempt to explore the ways in which six year olds succeed or fail in forming groups. The two hundred and fifty-two children were observed for five one-hour periods, and were asked on two occasions with whom they most liked to play and why. Of these 35.7% remained steady in their choice with boys more constant than girls. Eighty-nine per cent of the boys and ninety-two per cent of the girls chose a child of the same sex. Seventy-three of the children were unchosen. Of the sample 68.5% could formulate no reason for their choice; only twelve per cent showed any appreciation of character. These children have as yet little understanding of personality constructs. Leaders were few---seventeen---and their emergence depended upon the quality of the teacher, and the provision of imaginative material or the recognition of a desired skill. Most leaders were temporary but four led for half an hour and four for the whole hour; they were representative in every way except for the absence of eldest, and high proportion of teachers', children. The teacher played a considerable part in the formation and maintenance of groups. Eight children spent a whole hour alone; in addition to unoccupied and onlooker behaviour children sometimes wandered when they were isolated but intensely aware of other children. The ability to be alone, from choice, can be a sign of rare maturity. Naturally the children could only enjoy what was provided, but painting was firm favourite, followed by drama, bricks and house-play. These children favour the creative rather than the manipulative, the three-dimensional rather than the two, and movement rather than seatwork. These groups of six-year-olds at play are transient and kaleidoscopic, fitting between the solitary play of the young child and the gangs of the Junior (now Middle) School.
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Education
Leicester Theses

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