Changes in children’s reasoning about the social inclusion of aggressive children over the early years of elementary school

Journal article


Scholes, Laura, Brownlee, Joanna, Walker, Sue and Johansson, Eva. (2017) Changes in children’s reasoning about the social inclusion of aggressive children over the early years of elementary school. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 21(10), pp. 991 - 1010. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2017.1325075
AuthorsScholes, Laura, Brownlee, Joanna, Walker, Sue and Johansson, Eva
Abstract

While there is growing understanding about children’s moral reasoning for social inclusion and exclusion, we know little about how children reason specifically about the inclusion of aggressive children in school settings. To investigate children’s decisions about such inclusion and how they justified those decisions, this study reports data from 172 children interviewed in Year 1 (female = 85, male = 87), between the ages of six and seven and 155 children (female = 78, male = 79) who were interviewed again in Year 2. The children’s responses to scenarios regarding inclusion or exclusion of an aggressive child (who is bossy and pushes others around) in their play at school demonstrated that they were more likely to include an aggressive child in their play in Year 2 than in Year 1 of elementary school. They were also more likely in Year 2 to provide justifications that demonstrated a deeper understanding of the reasons for children’s aggressive behaviour at school. These data suggest that children’s school experiences may contribute to their ability to access multiple perspectives when reasoning about inclusion of others. Findings suggest the need to consider more closely how contextual experiences influence young children’s moral reasoning.

KeywordsMoral reasoning; social cognition; inclusion; early childhood; social domain theory; interpersonal traits; aggression
Year2017
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Journal citation21 (10), pp. 991 - 1010
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1360-3116
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2017.1325075
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85019191374
Page range991 - 1010
Research GroupInstitute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE)
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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