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Title: A study of children's perspectives on the quality of their experiences in early years provision
Author: Armistead, Josephine Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 0791
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis presents a study of three and four year old children attending preschool at a time of rapid expansion of this phase of education. There is strong evidence that the quality of the experience is the determining factor in the long term effectiveness of early years provision. However, quality is a contested concept with a range of viewpoints, defined by different stakeholders including children. The study builds on previous research and aims to clarify children’s perspectives on the quality of their preschool experiences and to consider how their viewpoint might influence policy and practice. The study examines successive policy initiatives in relation to children and families including the development of quality frameworks for early years practice. It considers policies that promote children’s participation based on children’s rights, and related theories of children as social agents, active in their own lives. The study discusses different approaches to quality early years provision, identifying two main positions, ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. The study explores alternative, co-constructed approaches to quality that involve children assessing their learning together with trusted adults, to prepare for future learning. This is a qualitative study using an ethnographic approach. Data were collected employing an adapted version of the Mosaic Approach which combines multiple methods. The study takes a case study approach to present the research stories of six children by detailing their perspectives on quality. These findings are presented as a taxonomy of viewpoints, focussed around a common framework of re-occurring categories. This represents the contribution to knowledge of the study. The taxonomy is presented both in the language of children and that of adults in order to emphasise the extent to which the voice of children is currently absent from discourses on quality. Children’s responses are presented as indicators of quality that could inform day to day practice and policy.
Supervisor: Barker, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: X100 Training Teachers ; X200 Research and Study Skills in Education ; X300 Academic studies in Education