‘Let the wild rumpus start!’. Using carnival as a metaphor to highlight the pedagogical significance of young children’s humor

Jennings-Tallant, L (2019) '‘Let the wild rumpus start!’. Using carnival as a metaphor to highlight the pedagogical significance of young children’s humor.' In: Loizou, E and Recchia, S, eds. Research on young children’s humor: theoretical and practical implications for early childhood education. Springer, Cham, pp. 203-221. ISBN 9783030152017

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15202-4_12

Abstract

It is important that the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) continues to develop a pedagogical interest in humor and laughter. Research suggests that children have a positive approach to humor that embraces subversion and challenges authority. Differences in adults’ and children’s approaches to humor in ECEC are discussed within this chapter by complementing more traditional lenses that sit within a paradigm of developmental psychology and demonstrate how philosophical anthropologist, Mikhail Bakhtin’s, theory of carnivalesque can provide helpful insights. A short overview of Bakhtin’s carnivalesque theory is offered; then, the chapter discusses research findings that illustrate potential benefits of using Bakhtin’s idea to illuminate a more anthropological and socio-cultural context of young children’s humor and laughter in ECEC. Data from a study set in an urban early years setting are reported. Evidence of young children’s humor presenting as carnivalesque clowning; challenges to perceived authority, often in the form of ‘grotesque’ humor; carnivalesque performance not differentiating between performers and audience; and carnivality as a mode of communication, is explored. Finally, a discussion of how early childhood practitioners can draw on these ideas to facilitate an understanding of children’s intentions and motivations concludes the chapter.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Note:

Part of the 'Educating the Young Child' book series (volume 15).

Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 14:50
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 14:50
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