08 SES 12 A, Implementation, Methodology, Integration - Lessons Learnt
Researchers undertaking qualitative research with children have all too often treated them as part of the larger structure of the family or school. Therefore, they have followed the tradition of ’studying children’ (de Winter, Baeveldt and Kooistra, 1999; Sandbaek, 1999) by focusing almost exclusively on the responsibilities of adults. However, over the last decade a body of literature has emerged which has brought to the fore a range of ethical, methodological and epistemological concerns and challenges relating to researching children’s worlds (Stephen, 2005). Recent literature has emphasised the virtues of designing research projects that are ‘by’ and ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ children (for example, Clark and Moss, 2001; Cobb, Danby and Farrell, 2005). This paper will address one aspect of a larger study concerned with investigating, how health education is designed, defined, constructed and experienced as pedagogy in early years education (EYE) settings within the UK. Specifically, the research explored how practitioners and children engaged with health and health discourses within three EYE settings and what role social class and culture had to play in how health was framed (constructed and realized) within each setting’ This paper details the research methods employed to investigate the children’s understandings of health and highlights the challenges and possibilities of conducting research with very young children (in this case age 3-4).The paper aims to encourage and assist other researchers to include young children in qualitative research related to physical education and health.
EYE has long celebrated the importance of play as a learning device, however, in the UK, over recent decades there has been a subtle but significant discursive shift within EYE policy from the progressive (pre-neo-liberal) child centred ideology of the post Plowden era (Central Advisory Council for Education, 1967) (which emphasised exploratory free play and individualised, competency based learning) to a more instrumental market driven ideology in EYE (Rogers and Lapping, 2012). Notwithstanding ideological shifts in the political landscape of EYE education over the last thirty years within the EYFS Framework (2014) (as in EYE policy texts elsewhere, e.g. Scandinavia and Australia (NTG, 2014)) play has retained its position as a fundamental essential of children’s development, building their confidence as they ‘learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others’ (DfE, 2014, p. 8). Through play children putatively are enabled to make sense of their social worlds and engage actively with people and objects (DfE, 2014). In the EYFS specifically, with regard to health and physical development, play is to cultivate;
I. Moving and Handling – (as demonstrated in) children’s ability to show good control and co-ordination in small and large movement, moving confidently in a range of ways.
II. Health and self-care – children know the importance of good health of physical exercise and a healthy diet and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.
(DfE, 2014, p. 5-8) (my parenthesis)
Like many education policies, the EYFS is determined by policy makers outside the education system but is grounded in the expectation that practitioners are able to implement such policies in their settings. However, it has been suggested (Siong- Leow et al, 2014) that where policies have explicit corporeal dimensions (as in the case of health education policies), implementations are more likely to be mediated and moderated by teachers’ own biographies, health practices and what they consider the remit of schooling (Schee, 2009; Evans et al 2011).
Clark, A., & Moss, P., (2001). Listening to Young Children: The Mosaic Approach. London: National Children’s Bureau. Cobb, C., Danby, S., &Farrell, A., (2005) ‘Governance of children’s everyday spaces’. Australian Journal of Early Childhood 30(1): 14–20. de Winter, M., Baeveldt, C. and Kooistra, J. (1999) ‘Enabling Children: Participation as a New Perspective on Child-Health Promotion’, Child Care, Health and Development 25(1): 15–25. DfE, (2014) Early Years Foundation Stage/Curriculum https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335504/EYFS_framework_from_1_September_2014__with_clarification_note.pdf Evans, J., De Pian, L., Rich, E., & Davies, B. (2011). Health imperatives, policy and the corporeal device: Schools, subjectivity and children’s health. Policy Futures in Education, 9(3), 328–340 MacLure, M. (2003). Discourse in educational and social research. Buckingham: Open University Press NTG (2014) www.education.nt.gov.au/data/assets/pdf_file/0018/20538/BelongingBeing-Becoming.pdf and sweden.se/society/education-in-sweden Rogers, S. and Lapping, C. (2012). Recontextualising ‘Play’ in Early Years Pedagogy: Competence, Performance and Excess in Policy and Practice, British Journal of Educational Studies 60 (3): 243-260 Sandbaek, M. (1999) ‘Adult Images of Childhood and Research on Client Children’,International Journal of Social Research Methodology 12(3): 191–202. Schee, C. V. (2009). Confessions of the ‘unhealthy’ – eating chocolate in the halls and smoking behind the bus garage: Teachers as health missionaries. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30(4), 407–419 Schenker, K., (2016): Health(y) education in Health and Physical Education, Sport, Education and Society (online) Siong Leow, A. C., Macdonald, D., Hay, P., & McCuaig, L. (2014). Health-education policy interface: The implementation of the Eat Well Be Active policies in schools. Sport, Education and Society, 19(8), 991–1013 Varea, V., (2016): Mixed messages: pre-service Health and Physical Education teachers’ understandings of health and the body and the expectations of the Australian curriculum, Sport, Education and Society (online)
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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