Action research with small children: aesthetic learning processes in contex

Elisabet Malmström

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The process of learning to become through handmade productions to sufficient respond to the complexities of the Self is unlikely to occur without guidance from relation with others. The main purpose of this paper is to inquire into teachers’ support to small children’s aesthetic learning processes. How may children’s aesthetic learning processes emerge and support the children’s becoming through questions to and from the children? The article highlights the small children’s approach to science by managing aesthetic material, colour and form and the teachers’ approach to good questioning. The methodology is inspired by deconstructive pragmatism and the design from action research. The methodology is further grounded in Charles Sanders Peirce’s triadic transdisciplinary pragmatic theory of semiotics where the interpretant relation between the child and the teacher is on focus. Understanding that Peirce semiotics, science of signs differs from two-valued logic and thus very well may incorporate feeling and aesthetics.  It was necessary to reconstruct the theories of Peirce for an actual appliance to the area of Aesthetic Learning processes. Mediation of the theme, to connect sign - action and mind builds on a hermeneutic model of mediation made by the author where sign features of icon, index, symbols and logical, social and emotional action codes are a few important tools of analysis.  The result from step one in this research shows that teachers’ questions are made to meet children’s different processes of orientation to sign-mindedness, from differentiation of Self from others as fundamental to more advanced, socially- shared sign meaning. This connects to the importance to relate to children as ‘educater’ in relation to the teacher and a link to relational education. The teachers’ were overwhelmed by the children’s knowledge and were stimulated to progress themselves in questioning. The result from step two shows that teachers’ questioning (to support children’s constructions of meanings to become) may be reachable at different levels of hermeneutic understanding. This support the teachers’ questioning quality of wholeness. This scientific understanding from a semiotic-cognitive perspective on children’s meaning emergence and teachers’ supported questioning and conversation could have consequences for the field of aesthetic learning processes in pre-school in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe 13th International Pragmatics Conference, New Delhi, India, 8th to 13th September 2013 -
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …


ConferenceThe 13th International Pragmatics Conference, New Delhi, India, 8th to 13th September 2013
Period80-01-01 → …

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Educational Sciences (503)


  • aesthetic learning processes
  • key words: learning as responding
  • peirce
  • pragmatism.
  • relational education
  • visual genre of semiotic resources


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