A Review of Reminiscing in Early Childhood Settings and Links to Sustained Shared Thinking

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The importance of parent–child reminiscing for young children’s social and cognitive development has been well established, but despite the increasing numbers of children attending formal early childhood settings such as nurseries and preschools, there has been surprisingly little research exploring educator–child reminiscing in these contexts. Furthermore, existing research into educator–child interaction in the early years has focused on the identification and categorization of explicit learning episodes, neglecting the potential significance of implicit learning and limiting our understanding of the dialogic mechanisms underpinning developmental change. Through a systematic review of evidence pertaining to the parent–child reminiscing literature and that of dialogic practices in early childhood, this paper argues that research into the role of reminiscing in early childhood settings, combined with the wider application of formalized, micro-level approaches to analyzing educator–child conversations, is needed to broaden our understanding of early child development and effective early childhood provision. We conclude by proposing a research agenda to investigate reminiscing and elaborative styles in early childhood settings which consists of three strands: description and taxonomy; individual differences; and links to child outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-665
Number of pages25
JournalEducational Psychology Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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