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Methodological and ethical considerations concerning children in leisure-time centres as active participants in research
Göteborgs universitet, Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0890-6339
Göteborgs universitet, Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Linnécentret for forskning om lärande (LinCS).
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation highlights children’s social and discursive practice in Swedish leisure-time centres. A leisure-time centre provides activities, before, during and after school, directed to children between six and twelve years old. This institution is closely connected to primary school, staffed with university-educated pedagogues and is, among other things, supposed to contribute to children’s development and to offer a meaningful leisure. Research concerning leisure-time centres is, however, insufficient. How and in what way leisure-time centres really contribute to children’s development is not well studied and what meaningful leisure comprises is not clearly defined in the Swedish curriculum. Knowledge won from research concerning leisure-time pedagogues and children’s construction of meaningful leisure and their everyday lives in the leisure-time centre could contribute to make children’s voice heard, initiate change and to develop the social practice within this institution. This point of departure is closely linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the presented study drag attention to children’s opportunities to be active participants in the production of data.

Our theoretical point of departure origins from a social constructionist perspective, which emphasizes that reality is constructed by people who interact. Within this theoretical perspective a meaningful leisure in leisure-time centres is mutually constructed by staff and children in their everyday practice. This means that the social practice at leisure-time centres is a consequence of human conceptions and attempts to structure and categorize the activities. The participants, in this case leisure-time pedagogues and children, are producing and reproducing the everyday social practice by mutual negotiations. They learn to handle the activities that are included and settle the meaning of the activities through these interactions.

Metods/methodology

We use methods that make children’s perspectives visible and reflect the pedagogues’ intentions with their work at two leisure-time centres situated in two different socio-economic areas. The data production consists of narrative interviews, ”walk-and-talk”-conversations and artefacts that contribute to illustrate the social practice. We have stressed the importance of employing a reflexive and dialogical perspective in order to make children’s voices heard as a way to enter into children’s ‘culture of communication’. The participating children received a digital camera and were encouraged to show and take pictures of places they related to, on the basis of questions that gave possibilities to express meanings about their everyday life. The children and the researchers were talking during the walk and after the children’s photographing. The study was carried out in the same way concerning the leisure-time pedagogues although the questions were somewhat different.

Expected Outcomes

This is a work-in-progress and a thorough analysis will be carried out during spring and summer 2011. Initial analyses of the social and discursive practice seem to indicate that there are several opportunities for children to develop social skills in the studied leisure-time centres. This includes, for example, establishing relations to other children and learning negotiating strategies through the interaction. The leisure-time centres also give opportunities to share experiences and are arenas that could contribute to develop children’s identity. The presentation will be concluded by an ethical discussion concerning the children’s participation in the study.

References

Berger, P. & Luckmann, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Doubleday. Burr, V. (2003) Social Constructionism. (2nd Edition). London: Routledge. Chouliarki, L. & Fairclough, N. (1999) Discourse in the late modernity: Rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: University Press. Christensen, P. & James, A. (eds.) (2008). Research with Children: Perspectives and Practices, London: Routledge. Fairclough, N. (2003) Analysing Discourse. Textual Analysis for Social Research. Routledge: London. Fairclough, N. & Wodak, R. (1997) Critical Discourse Analysis. I T. van Dijk (red.), Discourse as Social Interaction. Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction. Volume 2. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Haglund, B. & Anderson, S. (2009) Afterschool Programs and Leisure-Time Centres: Arenas for Learning and Leisure. In World Leisure Journal 51(2), 116-129. Haudrup Christensen, P. (2006) Children’s participation in ethnografic research. Issues of power and representation. Children and Society, v. 18(2), 165-176. Hill, M. (2005) Ethical Considerations in Researching Children's Experiences, pp 61-86. In S. Green, and D. Hogan (eds) Researching Children's Experience: Methods and Approaches. London: Sage. Klerfelt, A. (2006) Cyberage narratives – creative computing in after school centres. Childhood, (13)2, 175-203. Mischler, E.G. (1986) Research Interviewing: Context and Narrative. Harvard Cambridge: University Press. Ochs, E. & Capps, L. (2001) Living narrative. Creating lives in everyday storytelling. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28476OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-28476DiVA, id: diva2:1263062
Conference
ECER2011 'Urban Education', 13-16 September 2011, Berlin Germany
Available from: 2018-11-14 Created: 2018-11-14 Last updated: 2018-11-14Bibliographically approved

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