ERIC Number: EJ1021468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Empowerment of Children through Circle Time: Myth or Reality?
Irish Educational Studies, v32 n4 p421-436 2013
The focus of this paper is circle time, a widely used method in primary schools in Ireland and elsewhere. It involves children sitting in a circle with their teacher using method-specific techniques and strategies for self-esteem enhancement, promoting positive relationships and development of social skills. Qualitative research was undertaken in 2010-11 in five Irish primary school classrooms. Methods included observations, analysis of teacher journals and pre-and post-observation interviews. The theoretical and conceptual framework adopted for the research had empowerment of children as a central principle, supported by theories of self-esteem, emotional intelligence and voice and participation theory. Findings relating to rules and processes and aims and benefits are reported here. While teachers generally followed the Mosley Model of circle time, there were differences in relation to some rules and processes. Teachers in the research were aiming to develop social and personal skills, confidence, equality of voice and a positive classroom atmosphere. Benefits included enjoyment for both teachers and children, a sense of safety and ease of communication. A shift in aims and processes is suggested that would place more emphasis on social and personal skills development, the use of children's voice for agency and respect for children's right to contribute or not in circle time.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Qualitative Research, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary School Students, Self Esteem, Teaching Methods, Interpersonal Relationship, Interpersonal Competence, Observation, Journal Writing, Interviews, Empowerment, Emotional Intelligence, Class Activities, Classroom Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A