Examining humor in early childhood period from teacher and child aspects

Download
2019
Yılmaz, Betül
The purpose of the study was to examine humor in early childhood education in terms of children and early childhood teachers. The study sample comprised 22 five-year-old children and 5 early childhood teachers from a public preschool in Tokat. A qualitative phenomenological research method was used. As instruments, a humorous visual and five semi- structured questions, addition semi- structured questions that lead children to make a humorous drawing and to explain it were prepared. A questionnaire comprised of 15 semi- structured questions was then applied in teacher interviews. The findings of the current study confirm that in producing humor, our sample of five-year-old children mainly included items related with incongruity. Incongruity is seen as the main theme in these children’s drawings and they may choose to exaggerate or use caricature in illogical ways. Analysis of their visualizations indicates that they appreciate humor and are able to explain why their representations are funny, and by identifying any extraneous aspects or items. The current study reports on how a sample of children receiving early years education in Turkey appreciate and produce humor and how their teachers explain it. The teachers the study think that humor is necessary in our lives in terms of our social and personal experiences. They also feel strongly that humor is necessary for children’s development and learning and described children’s humor development in terms of how they observe their social group. Furthermore, some of the teachers who participated in this study stated that if a child does not make jokes about the children around them, they would perceive that child to be lacking in humor development.