“Where did you go to?” recognizing child agency as it emerges dynamically in interaction

Michal Gleitman, Bracha Nir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents an in-depth analysis of a shared mother-toddler book-reading activity. We build on critiques of progressive approaches to child education and warn against the subtle subversion of children’s agency. Our praxis-based analysis interprets the child’s initiatives as they emerge dynamically during the interaction, revealing their underlying systematic structure independently of the predetermined trajectory prescribed by the mother’s goals and guidance. We argue that an account of child agency must consider the uneven power dynamics between children and adults and how it influences the child’s legitimacy to affect transformation that transcends their initial position in the activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-255
Number of pages20
JournalMind, Culture, and Activity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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