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Some secret language: how toddlers learn to understand movies

Bazalgette, Cary; (2018) Some secret language: how toddlers learn to understand movies. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The starting-point of this thesis is the hypothesis that, from at least 22 months old, children who watch movies (i.e. any moving-image media) may be learning how to make sense of them. Rather than looking for evidence of precursors to further learning (such as language, literacy or technological skills) or for the risks or benefits that movie-watching may entail, the thesis argues that viewing behaviour provides enough evidence about the practices and processes through which children of this age learn how understand movies, to indicate that this is a significant achievement, and has implications for later development. Data were gathered during an ethnographic study of two of my grandchildren (dizygotic girl and boy twins), covering a 20-month period (from ages 22 to 42 months) but focusing particularly on their third year of life. Analysis of the resulting 12.7 hours of video, together with observational field notes and parental interviews, draws on a combination of sociocultural and embodied cognition approaches in addressing the challenges of interpreting two-year-olds’ movie-viewing behaviour. Following the literature review in Chapter 1 and a description of the research design and method in Chapter 2, Chapter 3 provides a chronological account of three sequences of viewing events. The themes that emerged from the analysis of these sequences are discussed in Chapter 4, on emotion, and Chapter 5, on social and cultural learning. The thesis recognizes the role of movie-watching in human ontogeny, arguing that it is driven by emotions, and enabled by embodied simulations, and that the early learning enabled by children’s intensive – and often self-directed – viewing and re-viewing of movies is complementary to all their other cultural and social learning.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Some secret language: how toddlers learn to understand movies
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041767
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