“Parallel Voices Commentary – Reframing Teachers’ Understandings of Conflicted Play.”
Volume and Number
Vol. 14, no. 1.
Conflicts between children are typically regarded as highly undesirable and necessary to avoid. However, the study by Brookshire suggests that the phenomenon of the “conflicted sparring” should be interpreted as a vital part of the cognitive development process in children, particularly, in girls (par. 1). Therefore, avoiding these conflicts should not be seen as a desirable strategy. Instead, educators should seek the ways of steering these conflicts into productive learning. Specifically, teachers should use instances of conflicted sparring between children as the opportunity for shifting their analysis of interactions into a critical inquiry (Brookshire par. 2). Thus, children will develop critical thinking skills naturally and learn to apply them to a variety of contexts in the future. Moreover, the specified discovery leads to the expansion of children’s agency in the learning context, offering them a more proactive role.
Impact of the Article
As an educator, I have to say the article has had quite a strong impact on me. Although the idea of conflicts being more than merely confrontations, it was refreshing to find out that the specified approach to conflict management can be applied as early as preschool. It was quite inspiring to realize that emotional intelligence, mainly, the ability to approach conflicts critically and manage one’s emotions, can already be taught at the preschool age.
Moreover, the article has provided insights into the tools that can be used to help children approach conflicts critically. For instance, early development of emotional intelligence and, therefore, the ability to control one’s emotional responses to a specific situation could be considered an important point of view that children will need to be offered. Overall, the study by Brookshire was central to my understanding of managing conflicts in the preschool setting and assisting children in building critical thinking for conflict management.
Brookshire, Robyn. “Parallel Voices Commentary – Reframing Teachers’ Understandings of Conflicted Play.” Voices of Practitioners: Teacher Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 14, no. 1, 2019, Web.