07 SES 06 B, Minority Children
This presentation introduces a cross-disciplinary project undertaken in a long-term collaboration between Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, the University of Waikato and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The study aims to answer an overarching research question: How do ECE places and spaces across different cultural contexts impact on children’s wellbeing? Our research focuses on children’s embedded, lived and relational encounters of their space/place, with a particular interest in their views on their holistic wellbeing and subjective experiences, by drawing on children’s ontological and intercultural relationships with matter and materialities in their daily lives. The project is both local and global, in that it aims to inform European and international policy and practice in early childhood education and teacher education alike. In this presentation we present excerpts from our study to date, which includes pilot projects in Sweden and New Zealand.
This study is on the one hand a response to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the critique that governing organizations face with respect to its implementation. On the other hand it is an elevation of children’s rights and agency through broadening research attention to both the human and more than human worlds that children live, play and learn in. Our research responds to recent calls for raising philosophical thought and engagement in ECE (Peters & Tesar, 2018), and to more critically interrogating cultural Otherness and marginalisations in early childhood settings (Arndt, 2017). It integrates philosophy as both method and content, in the empirical and the analytical aspects of our project (Arndt, Alerby & Westman, 2017).
In this presentation we illustrate the collaborative Swedish/New Zealand research conceptualisation aimed at recognising children’s influence on their lives, learning spaces and environment through multiple perspectives, cultures and orientations. We demonstrate both the intended and unexpected potential of cross-disciplinary, cross-continent research with children, immersed in their own shifting local, social and cultural discourses, and as having a particular influence on the construction and experiences of contemporary childhoods, teaching and teacher education. This presentation draws thinking about childhoods into and beyond the contemporary sustainability discourses, interests in 21st century learning environments, and children’s rights issues, and situates the projects and our long term ongoing work within local and global anthropocentric and cultural concerns and vulnerabilities. The presentation asks what it means to be a young child in today’s world, in both knowable and unknowable ways, to inform and challenge conceptions of current and future childhoods and education.
A philosophical and ethnographic methodological framework underpins this project as we work towards answering our overarching research question. In the pilot studies, children’s experiences of the materialities in their space/place are conceptualised through cross-cultural ethnographic examinations of data from our case studies in urban ECE settings. A range of methods including observations, unstructured and semi-structured interviews, group conversations, focus groups, and artifact and document analysis are expected to provide new insights through engagements with children, and to be further informed by views of teachers and parents in the settings. A critical ecological approach (Dalli, et al., 2012), underlies our engagement with the educational communities in ECE settings, with a focus on remaining open to capturing locally specific particulars through children’s voice and perspectives through their verbal and enacted narratives. Children are seen as co-researchers, participants and as members of their ECE communities, as we recognise the complex and nuanced nature of their interrelationships and subjectivities within these settings (Arndt & Tesar, 2018). Using philosophy as a method (Koro-Ljungberg, Löytönen & Tesar, 2017) enables us to make meaning of, and to expand on, conceptions of children, and of children’s relationships with and beyond their physical and cultural local environments.
This research is expected to provide: - examplars of how materialities impact on childrens’ lives, to inform pedagogical and environmental research, including making important contributions to concerns with sustainability, post-anthropocentric aspirations, and local and global expectations and benchmarks - cross-cultural comparisons of relational, pedagogical and situational experiences of children’s wellbeing, to offer insights into health, education, policy and design considerations - information to influence policies at the level of local government, ECE settings and teacher education in Sweden, wider Europe, and in New Zealand
Arndt, S. (2017). Teacher otherness in early childhood education: Rethinking uncertainty and difference through a Kristevan lens. (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11259 Arndt, S., Alerby, E., & Westman, S. (2017). Philosophical entrances through a wardrobe: Reimagining educational places. Policy Futures in Education, Special issue: Affect, embodiment and interrelationships: Reconceptualising educational policy through encounters with educational spaces and places. DOI: 10.1177/1478210317739489 Arndt, S., & Tesar, M. (2018). Narrative Methodologies: Challenging and elevating cross-cultural complexities. In S.M. Akpovo, M.J. Moran, & R. Brookshire (Eds.). Collaborative cross-cultural research methodologies in early care and education contexts. New York, NY: Routledge. Koro-Ljungberg, M., Löytönen, T., & Tesar, M. (2017) Editor’s introduction: Multiplicities of data encounters. In M. Koro-Ljungberg, T. Löytönen, & M. Tesar (Eds.). Disrupting data in qualitative inquiry: Entanglements with the post-critical and post-anthropocentric. New York, NY: Peter Lang. Kristeva, J (1991). Strangers to ourselves. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Peters, M. A., & Tesar, M. (2018). The philosophy of early childhood: Examining the cradle of the evil, rational and free child. In M. A. Peters & M. Tesar, (Eds.), Troubling the changing paradigms: An Educational Philosophy and Theory Early childhood reader (2-15). New York, NY: Routledge.
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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