Teacher Use of Artifacts to Scaffold the Learning of Social Norms: An Ethnographic Discovery

By Eden Haywood-Bird.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This ethnographic article discusses a preschool classroom’s development of cultural norms around safety. Through researcher participation in a daily walk through the neighborhood, the researcher observed the use of artifacts and teacher scaffolding to create an environment supportive of a mutual construction of knowledge with the children around what it means to be physically and emotionally safe. Analyzed through a cultural-historical framework lens, the relationship between the class and the teacher-created tools is explored as a possible way to deconstruct the creation of norms within a cultural context. This is illustrated in three Acts, each centered on a teacher supplied tool or artifact.

Keywords: Early Childhood Learning, Ethnography, CHAT, Early Childhood, Nature Education, Outdoor Classroom, Scaffolding

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 689.827KB).

Eden Haywood-Bird


Dr. Haywood-Bird is recent graduate of the Colorado State University Educational Leadership doctoral program. After 13 years teaching preschool to children of all abilities, and teaching adjunct at the community college level, Dr. Haywood-Bird found that teaching teachers was a way to positively impact the lives of many more children, and as well as the wider culture. Finding joy in ethnographic research came as a very welcome bonus. Her research interests include: critical research with young children, nature in education, social aspects of learning and development within preschool, teacher quality in early childhood, agency development in young children, and STEM use in early childhood education.