A collective social situation of development for understanding play in families

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Studying the development of children in their everyday lives from a personal, institutional, and societal perspective is at the heart of Mariane Hedegaard’s seminal work. This chapter draws upon research undertaken together (Hedegaard and Fleer in Play, leaning, and children’s development: everyday life in families and transition to school. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013) and expands the original analysis through using Hedegaard’s (Learning and child development: a cultural–historical study. Aarhus University Press, Aarhus, 2002) concept of motives and demands in the context of Vygotsky’s concept of the social situation of development to study how one Australian family created the conditions for play and development. Through following the perspective of the youngest child in her family over 12 months, it was possible to determine how the family works with a collective social situation of development . Specifically, the chapter shows how the family was in tune with the differing social situations of development of each of the four children, and this attunement created the developmental conditions for learning how to collectively play, as well as how to engage in higher forms of play, such as games with rules. The outcomes of the analysis foreground the conceptual power of Hedegaard’s model of child development and her analytical frames when researching the everyday lives of children in families.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural-Historical Approaches to Studying Learning and Development
Subtitle of host publicationSocietal, Institutional and Personal Perspectives
EditorsAnne Edwards, Marilyn Fleer, Louise Bøttcher
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789811368264
ISBN (Print)9789811368257
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePerspectives in cultural-historical research
ISSN (Print)2520-1530
ISSN (Electronic)2520-1549


  • Social situation of development
  • Demands
  • Motives
  • Societal, institutional, and personal perspective
  • Child’s perspective
  • Play
  • Cultural-historical

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