Early childhood research and policy, globally, are focusing increasingly on issues of ‘quality’ in early childhood education. However, much of the focus to date has been on adult-generated notions of quality, with little attention being devoted to children’s accounts on this issue. Conducted in the context of early childhood education in Verona Italy, this study offers children’s insights into their experiential notions of quality in two early childhood classrooms in Italy. Informed by the participation mandates of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1989) and a sociological conceptualisation of child competences (Mayall, 2002; Smith, 2007), the research methodology draws on the mosaic approach to researching with children (Clark and Moss, 2001), whereby children’s photography, mapping and conversations were used to represent indices of the quality of their early childhood settings. The data in this study were generated, beginning with the understanding that young children have the competence to articulate their ideas using a range of symbolic literacies. The children formed views and constructed theories about their prior-to-school experience, particularly about their teachers, and gave a clear and articulate indication of what constitutes good quality in this domain. The findings point to the import that young children place on their relationships with their teachers and the moral, ethical and social justice implications therein. In conclusion, the study calls for those engaged with children, particularly teachers, to taken affirmative action upon the contributions offered by children to our understanding of quality.

Standpoints on quality: Listening to children in Verona, Italy

MAZZONI, Valentina
2012

Abstract

Early childhood research and policy, globally, are focusing increasingly on issues of ‘quality’ in early childhood education. However, much of the focus to date has been on adult-generated notions of quality, with little attention being devoted to children’s accounts on this issue. Conducted in the context of early childhood education in Verona Italy, this study offers children’s insights into their experiential notions of quality in two early childhood classrooms in Italy. Informed by the participation mandates of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1989) and a sociological conceptualisation of child competences (Mayall, 2002; Smith, 2007), the research methodology draws on the mosaic approach to researching with children (Clark and Moss, 2001), whereby children’s photography, mapping and conversations were used to represent indices of the quality of their early childhood settings. The data in this study were generated, beginning with the understanding that young children have the competence to articulate their ideas using a range of symbolic literacies. The children formed views and constructed theories about their prior-to-school experience, particularly about their teachers, and gave a clear and articulate indication of what constitutes good quality in this domain. The findings point to the import that young children place on their relationships with their teachers and the moral, ethical and social justice implications therein. In conclusion, the study calls for those engaged with children, particularly teachers, to taken affirmative action upon the contributions offered by children to our understanding of quality.
Research with children; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Early childhood education; Qualitative research
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/438137
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact