Re-defining silence in unvoiced dialogues in storying-play: The sound of affects
Abstract views: 464 / PDF downloads: 108
Keywords:Silence, Affects, Storying, Play, Early childhood education
This article chronicles three stories selected from a post-intentional phenomenological study conducted by the first author. The authors aim to investigate affective connections in children’s silent play by addressing three research questions: (a) How do children engage in dialogue with the teacher, their peers, and the material environment without words? (b) What emotions are produced in silent play? and (c) What changes in children’s affective connections occur through silence? We drew on the notion of intentionality in post-intentional phenomenology to illuminate meanings of the phenomenon for individuals about what they felt and experienced. With a focus on intentionality, we delved into the ways children meaningfully communicated with others and connected to the environment in their unspeaking moments. We also took on a posthuman notion of intra-actions to rethink silence as an inaudible yet sensible sound communicated between children and things. The prior studies showed that children’s silence was a mode of expression. Through storying the silent play-stories, we offered two alternative meanings of silence––intra-active communication with people and things and inaudible inner wellbeing, in addition to a mode of nonverbal expression as identified in prior studies. The findings are significant in enriching and renewing our understanding of children’s silence in inclusive ECE environments. Silence is re-defined as a mode of embodied communication and affective connections. This article invites researchers and educators to genuinely “listen” to children’s stories, even in silent play.
Abram, D. (1996). The spell of the sensuous: Perception and language in a more-than-human world. Pantheon Books.
Acheson, K. (2008). Silence as gesture: Rethinking the nature of communicative silences. Community Theory, 18(4), 535–555. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2885.2008.00333.x
Alcock, S. J. (2016). Young children playing: Relational approaches to emotional learning in early childhood settings. Springer.
Artiles, A. J., Dorn, S., & Bal, A. (2016). Objects of protection, enduring nodes of difference: Disability intersections with “other” differences, 1916 to 2016. Review of Research in Education, 40(1), 777–820. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0091732X16680606
Arya, D. J. (2021). Into the void of discourse. Linguistics and Education, 68, 100964. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2021.100964
Barad, K. (2003). Posthuman performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3), 801–831. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/345321
Bateman, A. (2020). Young children’s affective stance through embodied displays of emotion during tellings. Text & Talk, 40(5), 643–668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2020-2077
Bligh, C. (2014). The silent experiences of young bilingual learners: Sociocultural study into the silent period. Sense Publishers. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-797-1
Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Harvard University Press.
Cazden, C. B. (1970). The situation: A neglected source of social class differences in language use. Journal of Social Issues, 26(2), 35–60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1970.tb01715.x
Clay, M. (1985). Engaging with the school system: A study in interactions in new entrant classrooms. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 20(1), 20-38.
Curriculum Development Council. (2017). Kindergarten education curriculum Guide. CDC. https://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/curriculum-development/major-level-of-edu/preprimary/ENG_KGECG_2017.pdf
Dahlberg, G., & Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and politics in early childhood education. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203980583
Delafield-Butt, J. T., Zeedyk, M. S., Harder, S., Vaever, M. S., & Cladwell, P. (2020). Making meaning together: Embodied narratives in a case of severe autism. Psychology, 53(2), 60–73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000506648
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Continuum.
Du Bois, J. W., & Kärkkäinen, E. (2012). Taking a stance on emotion: Affect, sequence, and intersubjectivity in dialogic interaction. Text & Talk, 32(4), 433–451. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2012-0021
Engel, S. (2005). Narrative analysis of children’s experience. In S. Greene, & D. Hogan (Eds.), Researching children’s experience: Approaches and methods (pp.199-216). Sage.
Engel, S. (2013). Flux and flow in children’s narratives. In M. Taylor (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the development of imagination (pp. 212-223). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195395761.013.0015
Fielding, M. (2016). Why and how schools might live democracy as an inclusive human order. In S. Higgins, & F. Coffield (Eds.), John Dewey’s democracy and education: A British tribute (pp. 114-130). UCL IOE press.
Gaffney, J. S., & Jesson, R. (2019). We must know what they know (and so must they) for children to sustain learning and independence. The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice: Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation 10 (pp. 23–36). Emerald. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820190000010002
Gibbs, A. (2010). After affect: Sympathy, synchrony, and mimetic communication. In M. Gregg, & G. J. Seigworth (Eds.), The affect theory reader (pp. 186-205). Duke University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822393047-008
Goodwin, C. (2000). Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 32(10), 1489-1522. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00096-X
Goodwin, C. (2015). Narratives as talk-in-interaction. In A. De Fina, & A. Georgakopoulou (Eds.), The handbook of narrative analysis (pp. 197–218). John Wiley & Sons. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118458204.ch10
Greene, M. (1993). The passions of pluralism: Multiculturalism and the expanding community. American Educational Research Association, 22(1), 13-18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X022001013
Haraway, D. J. (2015). Anthropocene, capitalocene, plantationocene, chthulucene: Making kin. Environmental Humanities, 6(1), 159-165. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-3615934
Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv11cw25q
Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.). Blackwells. (Original work published 1927).
Honneth, A. (1995). The struggle for recognition: The moral grammar of social conflicts (J. Anderson, Ttrans.). Polity Press.
Husserl, E. (1962). Ideas: A general introduction to pure phenomenology pure phenomenology (W. R. Boyce Gibson, Trans). Collier Books. (Original work published 1913).
Karjalainen, S. (2020). Joy as a practice: Performing joy in children’s everyday relations in early childhood education settings. Early Child Development and Care, 190(10), 1654–1665. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2020.1775593
Li, A. M.-C. (2022). Children’s everyday storying: A post-intentional phenomenological study in inclusive early childhood education [Doctoral thesis-in-progress], University of Auckland.
Martín-Bylund, A. (2018). The matter of silence in early childhood bilingual education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 50(4), 349–358. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2017.1361820
Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the virtual: Movement, affect, sensation. Duke University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822383574
Mazzei, L. A. (2003). Inhabited silences: In pursuit of a muffled subtext. Qualitative Inquiry, 9(3), 355–368. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800403009003002
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2012). The phenomenology of perception (D. Landes, Trans.). Taylor & Francis. (Original work published 1945). DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203720714
Ministry of Education. (2017). Te whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa early childhood curriculum. https://tewhariki.tki.org.nz/en/key-documents/te-whariki-2017/
Murphy, A. M. (2020). Animal magic, secret spells, and green power: More-than-human assemblages of children’s storytelling [Doctoral thesis]. Portland State University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15760/etd.7318
Nxumalo, F., Vintimilla, C., & Nelson, N. (2018). Pedagogical gatherings in early childhood education: Mapping interferences in emergent curriculum. Curriculum Inquiry, 48(4), 433-453. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03626784.2018.1522930
Paley, V. G. (2004). A child’s work: The importance of fantasy play. The University of Chicago Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226644981.001.0001
Pawłowska, B. (2020). Emotions in research and everyday life: From feeling to acting. Qualitative Sociology Review, 16(1), 6–10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18778/1733-8077.16.1.01
Poland, B., & Pederson, A. (1998). Reading between the lines: Interpreting silences in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 4(2), 293–312. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/107780049800400209
Seigworth, G. J., & Gregg, M. (2010). An inventory of shimmers. In M. Gregg, & G. J. Seigworth (Eds.), The affect theory reader (pp.1–28). Duke University Press.
Shallcrass, L. (2020). Hare and Ruru: A quiet moment. Beatnik Publishing.
Shi, M., & Tan, C. Y. (2020). Beyond oral participation: A typology of student engagement in classroom discussions. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 55, 247–265. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40841-020-00166-0
Somerville, M. (2020). Posthuman theory and practice in early years learning. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, K. Malone, & E. B. Hacking (Eds.), Research handbook on childhoodnature: Assemblages of childhood and nature research (pp. 103-127). Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67286-1_6
Spyros, S. (2016). Researching children’s silences: Exploring the fullness of voice in childhood research. Childhood, 23(1), 7–21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568215571618
Trevarthen, C. (2011). Born for art, and the joyful companionship of fiction. In D. Narvaez, J. Panksepp, A. Schore, & T. Gleason (Eds.), Human nature, early experience and the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (pp. 202–218). Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755059.003.0012
Vagle, M. D. (2018). Crafting phenomenological research (2nd Ed.). Taylor and Francis. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315173474
Watson, K. (2018). Interrogating the “normal” in the “inclusive” early childhood classroom: Silence, taboo and the “elephant in the room”. In K. Runswick-Cole, T. Curran, & K. Liddiard (Eds), The Palgrave handbook of disabled children’s childhood (pp. 141-157). Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-54446-9_11
Watson, K. (2020). Unspeakable: The discursive production of a “tragic subject” among children in the early childhood classroom. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 24(13), 1461–1472. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2018.1532535
Wehmeyer, M. L., & Kurth, J. (2021). Inclusive education in a strengths-based era: Mapping the future of the field. Norton Professional Books.
White, J. (2015). Introducing dialogic pedagogy: Provocations for the early years. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315710006
Wohlwend, K. E. (2009). Mediated discourse analysis: Researching young children’s nonverbal interactions as social practice. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(3), 228–243. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X09336950
Wormald, C., Le Clézio, N., & Sharma, A. (2012). Roar and rumpus: Engaging non-speaking children through stories and songs. In J. Magagna, & M. Scott (Eds.), The silent child: Communication without words (pp. 313-343). Routledge. Wu, R-J. R. (2004). Stance in talk: A conversation analysis of Mandarin final particles. John Benjamins. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429483196-17
Yoon, H., & Templeton, T. N. (2019). The practice of listening to children: The challenges of hearing children out in an adult-regulated world. Harvard Educational Review, 89(1), 55-84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17763/1943-5045-89.1.55
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Attribution: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial: You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
Author(s) must confirm that the Journal of Childhood, Education & Society retains all the copyrights unconditionally and indefinitely to publish articles.