Parents and toddlers: Teaching and learning at home
Parents and toddlers: Teaching and learning at home

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Parents and toddlers: Teaching and learning at home

3.3.1 Making connections between the known and the new

Rogoff builds on the concept of intersubjectivity to emphasise the shared history, communicative strategies and purposes in a learning relationship that facilitate joint focus and effective collaboration. Laboratory studies of teaching, learning and problem solving are often based on a task or skill that is quite new to participants. In everyday life, such complete novelty is rare. Encountering a new situation, one of the first things that teachers and learners try to do is to make sense of it in terms of their past experiences. Rogoff has summarised this feature as follows:

For very young children, the bridging role of adults involves assisting children in understanding how to act in new situations by provision of emotional cues regarding the nature of the situation, non-verbal models of how to behave, verbal and non-verbal interpretations of behaviour and events, and verbal labels to classify objects and events. All of these adult activities are coupled with young children's efforts (intentional or not) to pick up information about the nature of situations and their caregivers.

(Rogoff, 1990)

As we saw in Reading 5 (Cultural Worlds of Early Childhood, pp. 230–31) Rogoff et al. illustrate social referencing as an example of non-verbal bridging. Once children become verbally competent, most bridging at home and especially in classrooms is by verbal referencing.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371