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Photographic agency and agency of photographs – three-year-olds and cameras
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Art education and Educational drama. (ECE)
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In Swedish preschools cameras are often used by teachers to visualize learning and development on the basis of goals in the curriculum (Swedish National Agency for Education, 2016). But what happens if the young preschool children themselves become camera users? How do they target the cameras? How do they direct their gazes? What sort of intra-actions (Barad, 2003, 2007) become visible? Who, or what, become visible in the photographs, and through the children´s relationships with the cameras.

This presentation is based on the results of a recently completed study where three-year-olds were given access to digital cameras in preschool and where their use of them was not controlled or regulated in any particular way. A key point of departure for the study was that of the frequent occurrence of documentation through photography in preschool activities, as well as the fact that adults working in preschool usually are the ones behind the cameras (cf. Lindgren, 2016; Magnusson, 2017; Svenning, 2011). The study was conducted using an ethnographic method (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011) further strengthen by a post-qualitative approach (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012; Lather, 2013; MacLure, 2013; St. Pierre & Jackson, 2014 Lather & St. Pierre, 2013) and it takes its theoretical basis in new materialism (Barad, 2007, 2012; Lenz Taguchi, 2010).

The result shows that the children´s access to photographic observations gives them access to knowledge about looking and the possibilities of looking. Furthermore, it also gives adults access to how children look, make visible, connect, and develop knowledge of and in their own lives. In the hands of the children, the cameras, as well as photographs and their mutually entangled becoming, form part of the children's lives instead of gazes from the side line that makes assumptions about the processes the children are involved in. Since the cameras and children can visually both include and exclude what is around them, they test not only photographic looking and seeing in everyday life, but also the possibilities of democracy. By doing so they also show aspects of children´s perspectives and aspects of ethics and aesthetics in a broader sense.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
agency, democracy, ethics, gaze, photographic documentation, photography
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-26161DiVA, id: diva2:1183529
Conference
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood – AJEC – 2018, Research Symposium: Politics, power and agency in early childhood education, 16-17 February 2018, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Brisbane, Australia
Available from: 2018-02-18 Created: 2018-02-18 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Magnusson, Lena O

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf