Collaborative Pathways to Friendship in Early Childhood : A Cultural-historical Perspective book cover
1st Edition

Collaborative Pathways to Friendship in Early Childhood
A Cultural-historical Perspective

ISBN 9781138305533
Published May 18, 2020 by Routledge
196 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Early childhood is a time of wonder, excitement, adventure and learning. A time to experience social relations and friendships, and all of the emotions involved. The joy, and the excitement – of creating a common world with friends. A world of ‘what if’ and ‘as if’ moments that are accepted and built together, or rejected – leading to frustration, sadness and exclusion – the darker side of friendship.

In this book, cultural-historical concepts are used to analyse the everyday lives of children. Inspired by contemporary ideas about moral imagination, Collaborative Pathways to Friendship in Early Childhood theorises friendship as a concept. Traditionally, studies about friendship in early childhood focus on relations built in educational settings. As a point of difference, Dr Adams and Dr Quinones introduce the conditions that are created for, with, and by young children as they move between everyday family life, and transition into education settings. Through narratives of internationally mobile families moving into Malaysia and established families in Mexico, varying perspectives of children, parents, teachers and principals are presented — culminating in a holistic understanding of friendship in early childhood.

Providing insight into varied perspectives and processes involved when young children enter into friendships, this book will be of interest to researchers, post graduate students and teacher educators specialising in early childhood education, child psychology or social work.

Table of Contents

List of Figures



Section 1. Introduction

Chapter 1. Introduction to Young Children Developing Collaborative Pathways to Friendships

Chapter 2. A Cultural–Historical Approach to Understanding Social Relations and Friendships

Section 2. Friendship as a Family Project in Homes: The Parent, Child's and Friend's Perspectives

Chapter 3. The Child’s Perspective — Social Relations and Pathways to Friendships

Chapter 4. Moral Imagining as a Project for Friendship in the Family Setting

Chapter 5. Parents’ Perspectives of Friendships—Pathways to the Future

Section 3. Friendship as a Community Project in Schools: The Parent's, Teacher's and Principal's Perspectives

Chapter 6. Imagining Futures — A Collaborative Community Project for Friendship in the School

Chapter 7. Teachers’ Perspectives of Friendships — Pathways towards Social Futures

Chapter 8. Friends and Moral Imagination

Chapter 9. Collaborative Initiatives of Friends in the School Setting

Chapter 10. Past, Present and Future Collaborative Pathways for Friendships

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Dr Megan Adams is a Lecturer in Inclusion at Monash University, Australia.

Dr Gloria Quinones is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Monash University, Australia.


This book has two main contributions to the field. First, the introduction of cultural-historical perspective as part of studying the formation of children’s friendships and social relations and the way in which moral imagination as a concept is drawn on to enrich and elaborate the theoretical perspective is novel in this context. Second, the authors endeavour to bring a holistic perspective together, across contexts and across different actors - it is clearly a contribution to the field. These are the major strengths of the book and make it essential reading for educators, and a unique book. 

Jaakko Hilppö Post-Doctoral Fellow University of Helsinki

There is a real need for this book which is both theoretically well-grounded and practical with a lot of research data that illustrates well the authors’ arguments. The authors emphasize how friendships may be formed and sustained beyond the classroom, they are studied across contexts, rather than in isolation, which brings a unique contribution to this discussion.

Associate Professor Daniel Goulart