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Title: Family jigsaws : how intergenerational relationships between grandparents, parents, and children impact on the learning that takes place between the generations, and how this contributes to the child's learning experiences at home and at school
Author: Ruby, Mahera
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 802X
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This study investigated the intergenerational relationships between grandparents, parents and children from Bangladeshi British families in East London, and the impact these relationships had on the learning that took place between the generations. The study also investigated how this contributed to the child's learning experiences at home and at school. I collected data within an ethnographic framework using participant observation, interviews, questionnaires and video recordings. Through an ethnographic approach and an approach to analysis which I refer to as an ‘analysis of verbal and non-verbal interactions’ I was able to analyze the data from the four children, their grandmothers, mothers and teachers who participated in the study. The analysis highlights the complexities of their interactions and the way learning took place as each child completed a puzzle with the help of their mother, grandmother or teacher. The study reveals how the children negotiated their way through the different intergenerational interactions to complete the puzzle activities, bringing together the jigsaw pieces of their learner identities to construct their ability to be ‘Flexible Learners’ as a whole. I argue that children consciously adapt their learning styles depending on the adult they are interacting with and the context in which that learning experience takes place. I emphasize that their ability to do this and the contribution of the grandparents to this role are not adequately acknowledged at present. There is also evidence that participants bring their ‘funds of knowledge’ (Gonzalez et al, 2005) to the way in which they think learning should take place, and this enables the child to develop what I refer to as ‘learner flexibilities’ which is a skill that needs recognition within families and schools in order to improve children’s educational and cultural experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral