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‘Friendship is a very powerful thing’: The Importance of Communication, Humour, Kindness, Inclusion, and Shared Experiences: How Children Describe Their Experiences of Friendship in an International School Setting
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Children’s friendships have been researched in various contexts with many studies performed in school settings. This study seeks to contribute to the field of childhood studies by examining children’s descriptions of their experiences of friendship within the unique context of the international school. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of how 8-9 year old children in an international school setting, who move frequently, describe their experiences of friendship. Questions regarding how children describe their experiences of making friends, the qualities or traits they perceive make a good friend, and the strategies they use to make friends are all considered and analyzed. Research and analysis is conducted from the standpoint of viewing children as competent social actors with the intention of honouring their voices and authentically describing their experiences.

A mixed methods approach was utilized to collect data through child-friendly interview questions combined with a friendship map drawing task. Scaffolding was a key component of the interview process to ensure children involved understood and were comfortable answering questions as they progressively became more complex. Twelve children were interviewed and their thoughts, ideas and, descriptions were analyzed through the use of a thematic analysis involving coding themes from transcribed data and the creation of different thematic maps. The results of this analysis demonstrated the importance of communication, humour and kindness, inclusion, and shared experiences. These were significant in the children’s descriptions of their experiences of friendship. Children within this international school context described experiences of laughter, inclusion, and open communication as central upon entering new school environments. Educators and childcare professionals should support and encourage these behaviours in students across school settings to help ease with transitions and facilitate inclusion and acceptance in learning environments worldwide.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 44
Keywords [en]
Friendship Peer Cultures International Schools Communication Inclusion
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-148465ISRN: LIU-TEMAB/MPCS-A--18/001—SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-148465DiVA, id: diva2:1216540
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Child Studies (120 ECTS credits)
Presentation
2018-05-29, 20:49 (English)
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf