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Title: Engaging with children's voices : illuminating perceived notions of inclusion in pedagogical activities in the reception class
Author: Shaw, Patricia Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 025X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this study is to illuminate children’s perceived notions of inclusion in their pedagogical activities in the Reception class. It also seeks to ascertain how practitioners (teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants) respond to children’s comments, and whether they can utilise children’s perceptions to inform their pedagogical practice. Empirical research was conducted using qualitative methodology. Reception classes in infant and primary schools in the North of England were selected. Extensive data were gathered with forty children and seven practitioners over a six week period in each of the schools. This included collecting field notes; undertaking observations of children in pedagogical activities; conducting group and individual interviews with children; and individual interviews with practitioners. Participative tools, including photographs and drawings, were used to engage with children’s voices, since this was central to the research aim. All data were systematically analysed and an overall understanding was gained of children’s perceived notions of inclusion. These resonate with two dimensions: belonging and relationships (with practitioner and/or child); and democratic pedagogies. Moreover, the research offers a new critique to child-centred pedagogies, which affords greater insight into younger children’s perceptions of inclusion, than have been presented in the literature thus far. Whilst acknowledging the small sample of practitioners, the study’s findings are of note when analysed alongside other empirical research. The findings reveal that practitioners involved in this study retain some resistance to responding to the views of young children. Moreover, the findings identify that there is limited evidence of practitioners’ serious reconsideration of planning regarding children’s perceived notions of inclusion, and that they require a shift in their reasoning. Furthermore, they signify the necessity for greater emphasis on the importance of engaging with children’s voices in the training of newly qualified teachers, and the ongoing professional development for all practitioners in early years.
Supervisor: Messiou, Kyriaki ; Voutsina, Chronoula Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available