Becoming Students and Becoming Ethnographers in a Preschool

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Preschool poses unique schooling demands which challenge young children to become young students. This distinctive socialization process is the research problem addressed in an ethnography of a preschool classroom. The introduction details practical considerations which suggest the distinctiveness and importance of early education and of children's socialization to it. The first major section presents an integration of relevant socialization theories and a discussion of ethnography as a research perspective. In the next section, the ethnographic research procedures used in the study are explained generally. In a final section, a conceptualization of this preschool classroom as a dynamic configuration of school culture and peer culture (Corsaro, 1985) is proposed, serving as hypothesis and heuristic tool for ongoing research.