Title page for ETD etd-05232003-135225

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Smidl, Sarah Lynn
URN etd-05232003-135225
Title Carve That Opossum and Plucky, Ducky Underwear: A Narrative Inquiry of Laughter in a Preschool Classroom
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stremmel, Andrew J. Committee Chair
Fu, Victoria R. Committee Member
Garrison, James W. Committee Member
Hill, Lynn T. Committee Member
  • narrative inquiry
  • laughter
  • preschool
Date of Defense 2003-05-06
Availability unrestricted
Carve That Opossum and Plucky, Ducky Underwear: A Narrative

Inquiry of Laughter in a Preschool Classroom

Sarah L. Smidl


This thesis is a narrative inquiry of laughter in a University Lab School preschool classroom that describes the many situations in which children laugh as well as laughter’s importance for the children, for me, and for all of us as a whole within the context of our classroom. To date, there is a paucity of research on children’s laughter, especially in young children. The majority of research that has been conducted has been quantitative in nature, with few attempts to comprehensively describe the many situations in which laughter occurs. For my study, I felt it crucial to look at, document, and describe preschoolers’ laughter, taking into consideration the many facets of their school day including free play, story time, playground time, and snack time. My sample included all of my 14 preschoolers, who ranged in age from 3 years to 4 years, 4 months at the outset of the study. I also deemed it important to look at what these laughter-producing situations meant to me and the children in my classroom, including what deeper worth laughter for all of us, how we used it in the classroom, and how it helped me to grow both personally and professionally through my research.

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