Emotions in Imaginative Situations: The Valued Place of Fairytales for Supporting Emotion Regulation

Authors: Marilyn Fleer & Marie Hammer

Abstract

Fairytales represent a long-standing cultural practice used by early childhood teachers for supporting children's social and emotional development. Yet contemporary practices see governments demanding a more academic curriculum. In drawing upon cultural-historical research, we theorise how fairytales help children to collectively develop emotion regulation, where the unity of emotions and cognition are foregrounded during the telling, retelling, and role-playing of fairytales, allowing for a dynamic interplay between interpsychological and intrapsychological functioning. We suggest that fairytales have a valuable place within early childhood programs because they introduce emotionally charged imaginative situations which we believe support children's emotion regulation in group care situations.


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