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ERIC Number: EJ982495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-1463-9491
Investigating Child Participation in the Everyday Talk of a Teacher and Children in a Preparatory Year
Theobald, Maryanne; Kultti, Anne
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v13 n3 p210-225 2012
In early years research, policy and education, a democratic perspective that positions children as participants and citizens is increasingly emphasised. These ideas take seriously listening to children's opinions and respecting children's influence over their everyday affairs. While much political and social investment has been made in the inclusion of participatory approaches, little has been reported on the practical achievement of such approaches in the day-to-day of early childhood education within school settings. This article investigates talk and interaction in the everyday activities of a teacher and children in an Australian preparatory class (for children aged four to six years) to see how ideas of child participation are experienced. The authors use an interactional analytic approach to demonstrate how participatory methods are employed in practical ways to manage routine interactions. Analysis shows that whilst the teacher seeks the children's opinion and involves them in decision-making, child participation is at times constrained by the context and institutional categories of "teacher" and "student" that are jointly produced in their talk. The article highlights tensions that arise for teachers as they balance a pedagogical intent of "teaching" and the associated institutional expectations with efforts to engage children in decision-making. Recommendations include adopting a variety of conversational styles when engaging with children, consideration of temporal concerns and the need to acknowledge the culture of the school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia