Example Of Essay On Carnarvon Preschool Assessment
Site: Carnarvon Preschool
Circumstances Surrounding This Event:
I noticed Alexis a girl of Russian background who was born in Canada and also has Canadian parents, playing with a girl called Pilar from Mexico whose family immigrated to Vancouver about two years ago. They were playing together around the house play area, pretending to play “restaurant”. Alexis was the server whilst Pilar was the customer sitting at the table. They played for about 20 minutes until Sofia a girl born in Canada with Canadian parents intervened and also began to serve Pilar. After observing the three girls play together, I came up with the following research question:
What are the differences in interactions and the style of play when local children and Immigrant children play together in dramatic play in a child care setting?
Alexis and Pillar were playing together at the house play section pretending to play “restaurant”. The table at the center of the area was set with plates and cutlery. Pilar walked in and took a seat at the table where Alexis asked her “What would you like to drink?” Pilar paused for a couple of seconds and replied, “Tea.” Alexis smiled and giggled and said, “Tea for dinner! It’s not even tea time.” Pilar looked at Alexis with a blank face and said “Uhmm water” “Here you go.” Alexis replied, pretending to pour water into a plastic cup and placed it next to her. Pilar held the cup with her right hand stared at it and placed it back on to the table. “So what would you like to eat? Would you like to know what the specials of the foods are?” Alexis asked Pilar. She nodded her head “Well, we have a sandwich with anything you would like to put on it. We have pickles and onions and loads of other stuff. For dessert we have an ice-cream sundae with blue and orange sprinkles. So, what would you like?” Pilar starred at Alexis with a smile on her face and said “Rice and chicken and ice cream” Alexis pretended to write it down on her notebook and went to the other side of the area where the wooden stoves and cabinets were. She got out a piece of plastic bread and layered it with some felt condiments. She put it on a plastic plate and gave it to Pilar. “Here you go. It’s a bacon club sandwich.” Pilar picked up the sandwich and placed it back on the plate “I want rice, not this”, getting up to leave the area. “But there’s no rice Pilar. This is all we had. We are just playing. You can pretend that the bread is rice.” said Alexis to Pilar. Pilar sat back down with her hands on her cheeks. “Did u know at my Nana’s birthday we had music and cake and tacos and even ice cream? My dad was laughing so much that he almost fell down because he didn’t see where he was walking,” she said. “It was so funny” she said smiling. Alexis said, “Would you like your ice-cream sundae now?” Before Pilar could reply, Sofia walked in and started to serve Pilar some water, Alexis looked a little puzzled. “I was playing with her first and she already had water” Alexis replied. “I can play too. These are preschool toys. We can all play whenever” said Sofia, putting some felt olives and onions on Pilar’s plate. Pilar seemed a little overwhelmed looking at the girls and what Sofia placed on her plate. “But I want rice and hot sauce.” She got up and went to a baby doll, wrapped it in a blanket and pretended to feed it with a bottle sitting back on the table. “Pilar, we’re not done playing yet. You haven’t even eaten your ice-cream. You can’t have a baby while you eat silly!” Alexis said looking at Pilar. “But my mummy always holds my baby sister when we eat. We always do that otherwise she cries too much” Pilar replied. “Well, put the baby in its bed while you eat. That’s what my nanny does with my baby” said Sofia. Pilar looked around for a few seconds without saying anything and then looked at the girls, picked up the baby and went to play with it by the block area, pretending to rock it to sleep.
In this scenario with Alexis, Pilar, and Sofia, the three girls played well together for the most part. However, Alexis tended to be the dominate child who liked to give directions and guide the playtime activities. There was a sense that Alexis and Pilar were enjoying playtime, but there was an underlying current of subordination in place. When Pilar asked for certain food for her meal, Alexis gave her something that varied from what Pilar wanted. When Pilar complained, Alexis was quick to remind her to pretend the food was what she wanted instead of taking it at face value.
Studies have shown that immigrant children were accustomed to “a more authoritarian parenting style than migrant or local” (Daglar, Melhuish, & Barnes, 2011). As a result immigrant children have more difficulty “externalizing problems, internalizing problems and emotional dysregulation and less social competence” (Daglar, Melhuish, & Barnes, 2011). This stands to reason in how Pilar reacted to Alexis when she gave her different food than what Pilar asked for. Pilar tended to be more rigid and her expectation was that it should be exactly what she believed it to be. When things were different, she did not know how to externalize or internalize this. Therefore, she made it known that what was received was not what she wanted. Pilar was socially hindered as well. She wanted it her way and Alexis insisted it would be something else. When things did not as Pilar expected, she got up from the table and proceeded to play apart from Alexis.
In another instance, Sofia joins the playtime activity and begins playing with Pilar. Alexis observes this and begins to protest to Sofia that she could not do the same activity because it had already been done. Again, Alexis was exhibiting signs of being dominant by attempting to be authortative with Sofia. Sofia pushed back by letting Alexis know she could do what she wanted. Sofia exhibited a strong personality very much like Alexis. It is likely the two had similar personalities because they both were Canadian and culturally handled situations much different than Pilar. Research has been done to support this. Studies have shown that children tend to choose peers that share common interests in this type setting. An example of this would be “behavioral characteristicssocial cognitive characteristicsand dispositional characteristics” (Lee, 2007). By comparison, Pilar seemed more submissive and non-confrontational in nature, which tended to make her the outcast of the group. Rather than get into a debate about her food being wrong, she just walked away from potential conflict instead in an effort to separate herself.
In terms of the dramatic play, the girls each had varying ideas based on their individual cultural differences. Pilar started playing with a baby doll and brought it over to the table with her. Alexis insisted that the table was no place for a baby. Sofia chimes in and gives Pilar a directive as to what to do with the baby while they were playing at the table. The entire playtime simulation was mirrored after how each girl was accustomed to things occurring in real-life situations they had experienced.
Perhaps the most surprising of all was how easily Pilar seemed to back away from the playtime activity when she was confronted with having to adjust her beliefs to accommodate that of Alexis. Even with voicing her discord with the wrong play items in front of her, Pilar handled the outcome by retreating from it. It can be presumed she may have felt intimidated by Alexis and just had a strong desire to remove herself from the situation.
Children in general are quite resilient. They do not view their peers as adults tend to view other adults. A child’s level of judgment is reserved for their own personal experiences based on their cultural knowledge. They are more accepting of one another but can also be quite territorial in nature. This was illustrated when Sofia came in to play with Pilar and Alexis spoke up when she felt threatened by Sofia infringing upon her playtime with Pilar. Children have such a need to be accepted by their peers. This goes as far back as preschool when children receive their first real opportunities for playing with others and learning valuable relational skills. Interaction at this level enhances critical social skills that will be developed and utilized as they encounter other opportunities for interacting with their peers as they grow.
Dagler, M., Melhuish, E., & Barnes, J. (2011). Parenting and preschool child behaviour among Turkish immigrant, migrant and non-migrant families. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(3), 261-269. DOI: 10.1080/17405621003710827
Lee, L. (2007). Social interaction with peers, peer relationships, and socioemotional adjustment of immigrant children at head start preschools (Order No. 3288192). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304878166). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304878166?accountid=12085