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Mind the Gap: an exploratory investigation of a family learning initiative to develop metacognitive awareness

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kate Wall, Dr Helen Burns


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Mind the Gap is a family learning project aiming to facilitate intergenerational engagement with learningin schools through the vehicle of a stop-motion animation project.1 Implicit in the animation process isreflective and strategic thinking that helps to make the process of learning explicit (Learning to Learn: Wallet al.). The animation project takes place in school and targets Year 4 children (aged 8 and 9 years old) andtheir dads/male guardians. The project is accompanied by staff development in school to promote the sameLearning to Learn approaches across curriculum and home/school boundaries. A team of researchers atDurham University is engaged in two projects: first, developing better understanding of the interventionelements and, second, evaluating the impact. This article will focus on data arising from the former and willexplore the space for family learning created in the project. We propose that the context of an inherentlychallenging animation project, which includes schools, parents and children working together in new ways tolearn new skills associated with information technology and creative story making, increases the likelihoodof dialogue about learning. It opens up the possibility of new relationships between home and school as wellas increases the potential for learning-based conversations that could be lifelong and lifewide.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wall K, Burns H, Llewellyn A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Early Childhood Research

Year: 2015

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Pages: 115-129

Print publication date: 01/06/2017

Online publication date: 25/05/2015

Acceptance date: 25/05/2015

ISSN (print): 1476-718X

ISSN (electronic): 1741-2927

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1476718X15579744


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