This paper focuses on out-of-school learning during early childhood transitions through case studies of young children in two different rural communities in Peru. It shows that for young children, increasing participation in their social worlds is marked not only through specific rites, but also through a more subtle process that involves a progressive change in their roles and responsibilities within their households. This transition involves the learning of practical and social skills, develops a sense of identity, belonging and responsibility, and makes children feel valuable members of their families and communities. The process takes place at the same time as young children start formal schooling, but is often ignored by school itself. The paper contributes to current discussions on out-of-school learning and child work at specific life-course moments such as the transition to middle childhood, contributing empirical material as well in order to understand the transition itself.
Ames, P. Learning to be responsible: Young children transitions outside school. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction (2013) 2 (3) 143-154. [DOI: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2013.04.002]