Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Young children's explorations: young children's research?

Murray, J. (2012) Young children's explorations: young children's research? Early Child Development and Care. 182(9), pp. 1209-1225. 0300-4430.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: 'Exploration' is recognised as research behaviour; anecdotally, as an early years' teacher, I witnessed many young children exploring. However, young children's self-initiated explorations are rarely regarded as research by adult researchers and policy-makers. The exclusion of young children's autonomous explorations from recognition as research conflicts with 'new sociology' perspectives positioning children as social actors. These tensions have driven a small-scale interpretive study, developed with children aged four to eight years in three 'good' schools in England to investigate (1) Do children aged four to eight years in three Early Childhood Education and Care settings explore?; (2) If so, what are their explorations and what effects and affects them?; and (3) Do young children's explorations count as epistemology? Findings indicate that in settings where 'free-flow' play characterised practice, four- to five-year-old children engaged in exploration, but its quality was affected by several factors, including variable levels of children's autonomy. Seven- to eight-year-old children in a teacher-directed setting explored less than the four- to five-year-old children, but were frequently observed 'off-task', pursuing self-initiated explorations
Uncontrolled Keywords: Exploration, early childhood, critical ethnography, children's participation, epistemology
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1101 Child study. Child development
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139 Early childhood education
Creators: Murray, Jane
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > Early Years
Date: September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 1209-1225
Journal or Publication Title: Early Child Development and Care
Volume: 182
Number: 9
Language: English
ISSN: 0300-4430
Status: Published / Disseminated
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