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ERIC Number: EJ993789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 109
ISSN: ISSN-0300-4430
Young Children's Explorations: Young Children's Research?
Murray, Jane
Early Child Development and Care, v182 n9 p1209-1225 2012
"Exploration" is recognised as research behaviour; anecdotally, as an early years' teacher, I witnessed many young children exploring. However, young children's self-initiated explorations are rarely regarded as research by adult researchers and policy-makers. The exclusion of young children's autonomous explorations from recognition as research conflicts with "new sociology" perspectives positioning children as social actors. These tensions have driven a small-scale interpretive study, developed with children aged four to eight years in three "good" schools in England to investigate (1) Do children aged four to eight years in three Early Childhood Education and Care settings explore?; (2) If so, what are their explorations and what effects and affects them?; and (3) Do young children's explorations count as epistemology? Findings indicate that in settings where "free-flow" play characterised practice, four- to five-year-old children engaged in exploration, but its quality was affected by several factors, including variable levels of children's autonomy. Seven- to eight-year-old children in a teacher-directed setting explored less than the four- to five-year-old children, but were frequently observed "off-task", pursuing self-initiated explorations. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)